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Snapchat debuts its ads with preview for ‘Ouija’
21st-century tech meets a 19th-century toy.
Lately, there’s been ample cause for deleting Snapchat from your phone. Maybe you received a masturbation video from your high school soccer coach. Maybe you’re a wee bit alarmed by the Snappening, a massive security breach facilitated by a third-party app. Maybe the software’s general glitchiness has worn you down over the past few weeks.
Well, here’s another reason to head for the hills and never look back: the arrival of sponsored content, foreshadowed earlier this month. Sure, your Snapchat inbox is already cluttered with spam of the “you may already have won” variety, but what about legitimate, branded content? Universal Pictures has got you covered with a 20-second preview of their cheap-looking Ouija movie, which appeared in users’ “Stories” queue.
Yes, it’s yet another film based on a board game (and yes, I’m friends with someone who has the username “mustlovedongs”—you’re not?). Side question: In what obsessive-compulsive alternate reality does everyone touch the Ouija planchette—a word I had to look up—in that same weird two-fingered way?
Most Snapchatters were displeased, or at least surprised, by the video:
Why is there an “Ouija” live story on snapchat!? Oh heck noooooo!
— ©[email protected]Г¡©€ $tГ@dw¡©k (@lilstrad15) October 19, 2014
that Ouija feed on @Snapchat? WHY AND NOPE.
— Mama Kellz (@LauraDKelly) October 19, 2014
Not so sure that #Snapchat made good on its promise for its ads to be ‘non-creepy’, since horror film Ouija was the first subject.
— Kevin TV (@KallMeKG) October 19, 2014
If @Snapchat don’t get this ouija mess off my snap feed.
— Bri ✨ (@fallforBri) October 19, 2014
Wow I hate snapchat for putting the ” Ouija ” preview on there😳😳😳
— Ash. (@ashlyn_jane) October 18, 2014
A sexy selfie from one of Ouija’s stars might have worked out better, though the marketing appears to have had its intended effect here and there.
the ouija thing on snapchat makes me want to see that movie SO BAD someone come w
— Farah Alkurdy (@Farah_alkurdy) October 18, 2014
If you want a real giggle, here’s the full trailer for the movie.
We still look forward to a day when social media startups can make money without selling your attention to advertisers, but today sure ain’t it.
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'