It’s exciting to see how much augmented reality (AR) has evolved over the past few years. Today, more than two-thirds of AR shoppers say they intend to purchase products after using AR, and four out of five feel more confident in their purchase when they’re able to use AR to help make their decision.1 There’s a growing demand from consumers for utilitarian, branded augmented reality experiences that advertisers must meet.
As one of the largest AR platforms, Snapchat has worked closely with advertisers small and large to ideate, develop, and distribute various types of branded experiences through AR Lenses, which can be built in a variety of ways based on your available resources.
Snapchat’s Lens Web Builder enables you to create simple, fast-to-production Lenses, built from hundreds of free 3D objects, animations, and templates, making it easy to create AR Lens campaigns directly in Ads Manager.
If brands want more sophisticated, custom creative, Snapchat’s industry-leading Lens Studio platform and expansive creator network on Creator Marketplace is the place to start. Here, brands can tap into custom 3D assets that feature machine-learning and a variety of engagement touchpoints
That leaves just one question — can simple-to-create Lenses perform as well as more sophisticated ones?
Leverage Simple or Sophisticated Lenses Based on Your Brand Objectives
Creating augmented reality experiences doesn’t have to be complex to be successful. We partnered with Kantar on a study of 7,800 participants across the US, UK, France, and Saudi Arabia to assess the difference in the performance of simple AR Lenses versus more sophisticated Lens creative, covering the Auto, Beauty, Food and Beverage, and Shoes product categories.
The research found that simple AR can be just as performant as a sophisticated, custom Lens in driving both upper- and lower-funnel metrics like brand awareness and purchase intent.2 Brands with the resources to execute a more sophisticated Lens will see additional benefits in mid-funnel brand metrics, including favorability and consideration.2
It’s important to point out, however, that this performance actually shifted depending on the category. For example, in the Auto category, we saw that both simple and sophisticated AR experiences drove brand awareness, proving there is value to both executions, depending on the goals of the campaign. However, the more sophisticated Lens lifted intent as well.2
Auto brands should consider how their Lenses can inspire consumers to drive their cars, and the closer they can get to a “showroom browsing” or “test driving” experience using AR — like the ability to interact with a 3D model or change the color of the car — the more sophisticated the build becomes. But sophistication doesn’t have to be far out of reach, especially if useful assets like CAD models exist to streamline and reduce complexity of the build.
When we look at a category like Beauty — where the application of lipstick or mascara in AR can change the color of the user’s lips or extend their lashes — we saw that simple Lens executions can perform just as well in brand awareness and purchase intent as more sophisticated experiences.2 Examples included an application tutorial video alongside an AR try-on experience, as well as a single Lens through which multiple products can be selected to try on.
Keep It Simple, Provide Utility, and Reduce Confusion
We’ve seen that simple AR experiences can provide as much benefit as more sophisticated Lenses in driving both brand awareness and purchase intent.
- The case for simple creative: The ability for brands to create simple yet effective AR experiences enables them to take advantage of fast, efficient production and experiment with a diverse range of assets — just as you would with multiple video creatives. Simplicity allows brands to garner greater, more in-depth insights than a single asset alone. This also means that simple AR can support always-on initiatives, where quick-hitting messages drive awareness and creative diversity keeps things fresh.
- The case for sophisticated creative: On the other side of the coin, sophisticated Lenses can drive deeper engagement by allowing more entryways and surfaces for interaction.
Get Started Today
Ready to learn more about AR experiences or Lens creation on Snapchat? Reach out to your Snapchat sales representative for more information, or preview the Lens Web Builder course in Snap Focus.