Colin Kaepernick Docuseries, Jaden Smith Activism Show Highlight Snapchat Originals Unscripted Slate

Colin Kaepernick Docuseries, Jaden Smith Activism Show Highlight Snapchat Originals Unscripted Slate

October 6, 2020

Snap Inc. announced five new and two returning docuseries and unscripted originals as part of the company’s ramping up of its Snap Originals slate.

The social platform, which says it reaches 90% of all 13-24 year-olds and 75% of all 13-34 year-olds, has now released 100 original shows and has a few hundred more in various stages of development. Two of the series (see the full list below) are docuseries The Solution Committee with Jaden Smith and a third season of Complex Media’s VS The World focused on former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

The slate announcement was made Tuesday as the company took part in virtual panels at Advertising Week. In addition to the programming news, the company said its First Commercial offering would leave beta and roll out to all U.S. advertisers later this month. The initiative lets ad buyers take a position as the first six-second ad that a viewer sees on a given day, which the company says increases its effectiveness.

In an interview with Deadline, Snap’s original content chief Sean Mills said the 4 billion “snaps” created daily by users give the company “so many powerful signals at scale” about potential areas to explore with originals. “We get a pulse on what issues our audience cares about and also what talent and what voices resonate with them.”

In tandem with the Discover platform, which features tailored series made by media partners like ESPN or NBCUniversal, Snap Originals offer an efficient route to reach a large audience, Mills said. Speed to market compared with legacy production has been a particular advantage during COVID-19 and also as major issues like the election and racial protests have defined 2020, Mills said.

After seeing positive results from Will Smith’s pandemic production Will From Home, Snap quickly reached a deal for the Jaden Smith series about his conversations with activists and celebrities about the drive for racial and social justice. It is produced by Westbrook Media, which was launched by Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith in 2018.

“When you’re making something for short-form … there are certain things you can do to accelerate the process,” Mills said. “There’s an infrastructure that you don’t need to be beholden to.”

Here are the new and returning originals, with descriptions by Snap:

NEW ORIGINALS

Honestly Loren (2021) – One of the most popular social media superstars since the age of 13, Loren Gray is now questioning it all – from love, to friendship, to career – in the most honest and entertaining way in order to figure out what happiness really means to her. (Produced by ITV America / Sirens Media)

Life’s a Tripp (2021) – After casting his first-ever vote in the most important election of our time, Trippie Redd is on a journey to experience firsthand the major issues gripping our country today, from drug addiction to police reform, with the help of fellow celebrity friends who have a personal stake just like the rest of us. (Produced by Trooper Entertainment) 

Swae Meets World (2021) – At the epicenter of music and fashion, Swae Lee embarks on a fearless journey through triumph and tragedy as he prepares to launch his first solo album and embrace the most pivotal moment in his career. (Big Fish Entertainment)

The Solution Committee (premiered September 21) – Jaden Smith seeks out the help of young activists and celebrity friends to explore and understand what we can do to create change around the most important racial and social justice issues of our time. Themes will range from police criminal justice reform, to voting access, gender justice, housing, economic justice, climate change and education reform. (Produced by Westbrook Media)

Good Luck Voter! (premiered October 1) – A three-part voter education mini-series hosted by some of your favorite Snap Stars and celebrities including Ross Smith, Kimberly Jones, MK Asante and more. Each episode will feature clips, memes and pop culture references intercut with information on how to register to vote, and how to make sure that you and your friends’ voices will be heard both locally and nationally on election day. Written by Peter Hamby of Snapchat’s “Good Luck America.” (Produced by Snap Inc.)

RETURNING ORIGINALS

While Black with MK Asante (Season 2 premieres in November) – In Season 2, the series continues to explore what it means to be young and Black in America with host MK Asante, author, filmmaker and educator, who takes on racially charged social issues through disarmingly candid conversations. (Produced by Main Event Media, an All3Media America company, and MK Asante Productions.)

VS The World (Season 3 premieres in 2021) – Season 3 of VS The World looks at the powerful journey of quarterback Colin Kaepernick as he took a knee, putting it all on the line, to make a statement against racial inequality and police brutality on the biggest stage in America. Each season of Snap’s franchise VS The World will explore the life and journey of some of the biggest names in hip hop, sports, and entertainment culture, with exclusive footage, commentary, and a totally original perspective. (Produced by Complex.)

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