Snapchat Taunts Instagram With Global Ads Celebrating 'Real Friends'

More than 70 users took part

Snapchat celebrates the deeper meaning of friendship in its first global branding campaign, themed "Real Friends," which collects stories from more than 70 users in a dozen countries. 

This 40-second anthem spot/trailer sets the tone and introduces some of the campaign's subjects: 

Next, in a slew of web videos, pairs of friends share tales of commitment, struggle and support: 

Devised by the client's in-house team with partners including communications shop SpecialGuest, the campaign vibe is heartfelt, inviting and fun—capturing the substance of meaningful IRL/online relationships, while steering clear of maudlin tear-jerk territory. 

"When we launched Snapchat more than seven years ago, it wasn't about capturing the traditional Kodak moment, or trying to look pretty or perfect," the company writes in a blog post. "We wanted to create a way for our friends to express themselves and share however they felt in the moment." 

"Real Friends" vividly crystalizes that vision, and, as commentators have noted elsewhere, fires some shots at the competition. 

Take, for example, the Facebook-owned photo-app Instagram. On Tuesday, as "Real Friends" dropped worldwide, Snapchat leveraged various influencers across the rival platform to boldly herald its new campaign. 


@sosheslays


@myselflovesupply

Now, squabbling over which online service best serves "real friends" is almost certainly a zero-sum game. Folks have their favorites for various reasons, definitions of "friendship" vary, and studies suggest spending too much time on any social media is probably bad for our mental health, anyway.

Regardless, Snapchat, riding recent increases in its active users, revenue and stock valuation, can now speak more from a position of strength, while Instagram has wrestled with some image woes of late. 

Why can't they just be friends?

Along with a presence on TV and the web, as well as in print, the campaign's out-of-home component presents quotes from famous folks about friendship (what else?): 

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.