Snap Launches Travel Ad Product Amid Digital Marketing Headwinds

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Snap Launches Travel Ad Product Amid Digital Marketing Headwinds
Photo courtesy of Snap

Social media giant Snap is launching a new advertising product for the travel industry as the company navigates an increasingly challenging digital ad market.

On Wednesday, the Santa Monica-based company announced Dynamic Travel Ads, which lets hotels, airlines and travel agencies create ads that Snap can serve to interested Snapchat users. Using location data and other metrics, the new ad product can target users who intend to travel and show them locally-relevant campaigns for destinations or tours. Marketers working with Snap can make a variety of ads based on their product catalogs, which contain information such as flight routes and hotel rates that can auto-update to reflect real-time pricing and availability.


Snap is launching the product just as the summer travel season starts for a tourism industry that was battered by the pandemic and is hoping for a resurgence. Dynamic Travel Ads could also give Snap new business at a time when it faces macroeconomic headwinds and deals with the fallout from Apple’s revised privacy settings—factors which have harmed the digital advertising market. Last week, the company revealed that it will likely miss its quarterly earnings estimates, sinking its share price. (Disclosure: Snap is an investor in dot.LA.)

The company started beta-testing Dynamic Travel Ads last year and said early adopters have seen success. The online travel agency Booking.com, for instance, has used it to pull images directly from its product catalog and serve users ads with locally-relevant listings based on products they’d already viewed, according to Snap. That resulted in a lower cost per purchase compared to other U.S. advertisers, the company said.

“Dynamic Travel Ads are driving impressive results for our partners and we look forward to unlocking them for more businesses as the travel industry enters its busiest season,” Sharon Silverstein, Snap’s head of U.S. verticals, said in a statement.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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Rivian Q2 Earnings Are a Much-Needed Nothing Burger

David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

Rivian R1S at a charging station in the desert.
Rivian's Q2 numbers are delightfully boring.

Rivian, the fledgling electric vehicle startup in Irvine, CA, released its Q2 earnings yesterday. I’m happy to report they’re pretty boring! There were no big surprises from RJ Scaringe’s EV hopeful, but here are the report highlights:

  • ~$15 billion of cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash as of June 30 2022.
  • 98,000 net R1 preorders
  • Amazon has ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans
  • Rivian has produced 8k vehicles so far
  • The company is still on pace to deliver 25,000 vehicles in 2022
  • -Actual revenue was $364 million.
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