April 16, 2020
April 16, 2020

Five tips for recreating the real world with Lenses AR Experiences

The Camera matters now more than ever — bringing us together when we’re apart. Its role has changed drastically over the last few decades, exponentially over the last five years, and unimaginably over the last few weeks as we began grappling with the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis on our lives. We can now see the power the Camera has to bring us together at home, opening a window into rich human connections.

At Snapchat, we’ve seen a 37% increase in Snaps being sent with a Lens AR experience during late March compared to late February.1This increase in usage and engagement shows that Snapchatters use Snapchat's camera, specifically our Lenses, to keep them connected to their community of real friends and family.

As you pivot your marketing strategy, there are several ways you can leverage the power of the Camera to reach your audience during this time. These five tips can help as you create a successful Lens AR Experience for your brand.

Tip 1: Create an experience that entertains, educates, or inspires.

AR is a core part of the experience for Snapchatters. Over 75% of community engages with augmented reality every day, on average.2 Snapchatters embrace AR experiences as a way to have fun with the Camera and enhance their lives on a daily basis. Think of AR as a way for your brand to create the most impactful and engaging experiences that will keep your brand top-of-mind. 

"The Sims is about bringing your creativity to life, which can be tough at a time like now. With a Snapchat Lens, EA gave gamers around the world the opportunity to add some fun to their daily routine with dozens of virtual puppies and kittens." - Erik Harte, Creative Strategy Tech Lead at Snapchat

"To educate Snapchatters about social distancing, we built a Lens that uses AR to create a virtual circle around them. The digital barrier features a radius of approximately six feet — the minimum safe distance as recommended by the World Health Organization — and follows Snapchatters as they move throughout their environment. If someone steps within the circle, the color changes from green to red to indicate an unsafe distance." - Rachel Weiner, Creative Strategy Telco Lead at Snapchat

TIP 2: Empower Snapchatters to express their emotions.

AR adds an element of wonder and self-expression to the world, making it easy and fun for Snapchatters to share a mood and a feeling within the expressive canvas of our Camera. With emotions running high during this time, we’ve seen playtime with Sponsored Lens AR experiences increase by 18% as the COVID-19 crisis has developed. 1 AR Lenses that empower Snapchatters to communicate with a full range of emotions are resonating more than ever because it easily enables our community to share advice, and send love and support to close friends all over the world.

We recreated the Italian Air Force’s salute to Italians who are staying home. Snapchatters can now recreate this iconic moment to send Snaps of support to their friends who are sheltering in place. 

TIP 3: Drive trial by bringing your product to Snapchatters.

Product discovery happens time and time again through AR on mobile phones. We have seen that Snapchatters are interested in 'trying' on products through AR before buying: Lens swipe up rate with Sponsored Lenses has increased by 22% during late March compared to late February. 1Brands can drive awareness and consideration using AR Lenses to create digital replicas of products in this virtual setting, making their products accessible to Snapchatters from anywhere.

Asics partnered with Atomic Design — one of our certified partners in France — to develop a Lens that demonstrated the beauty and design of their Novablast running shoes. The Lens includes a shop now button that sends Snapchatters to their website where they can choose to purchase the shoes.

TIP 4: Transform Snapchatters’ living rooms into a showroom.

The Snapchat Camera has a wider Lens than you would think, capturing entire living rooms and turning them into showrooms with AR. With people unable to shop at stores in the same capacity that they have been, brands have a new opportunity to drive interest and engagement around these products with AR.

"LEGO Group and Kabooki have worked with our free Lens Studio software to build an AR retail experience where you can actually step into it, explore, and make a purchase... it’s a fun, innovative retail space, but rather than a physical store, it can be opened anywhere at any time." - Will Scougal, Director of EMEA Creative Strategy at Snapchat

TIP 5: Use the tools at your disposal. 

Creating compelling Lenses AR experiences content at home has never been easier — no matter your level of creative expertise or access to design resources. Brands, agencies, and Creators can now bring their AR production in-house with tools like Snapchat’s Lens Studio and Lens Web Builder. 

1 Snap Inc. internal data February 22 - March 6, 2020 vs. March 16 - March 29, 2020
2 Snap Inc. internal data Q4 2019. See Snap Inc. public filings with the SEC