This week, Snapchat is launching a global Lens Creative Partners program, designed to connect brands with augmented reality (AR) experts and Lenses creators. The program certifies 30+ creators, from large agencies to expert individuals, who’ve been building engaging, immersive AR Lenses for Snap since the launch of Lens Studio. In total, Snapchat expects to onboard 100+ creators over the next several months.
Snapchat aims to give brands easy access to expert AR ad creators, no matter their budget, brand, or location. By expanding its network of skilled creators, Snapchat is continuing to lower the barrier for brands to create and run sponsored AR, while simultaneously championing (and helping monetize) the creative AR community. These certified creators are experienced in developing quality AR, and have completed a rigorous course about the development process, creative best practices, ad policies and buy models for sponsored AR Lenses on Snapchat.
Within the Middle East, agencies such as Leo Burnett, TBWA and Saatchi & Saatchi have already come on board as Lens Creative Partners.
AR on Snapchat
Augmented Reality is a key part of the Snapchat app — over 70 million people play with AR “Lenses” on the app per day. Each of those daily users average 3 minutes doing so, which adds up to 500 years of daily AR play time on the app.
The Lens Studio ecosystem is also thriving. To date, over 250,000 Lenses have been submitted through the tool, which have been viewed by Snapchatters over 15 billion times.
This is because Snapchat’s home screen is a camera that invites users to create, rather than more passively scroll through a feed of content. That design choice helped Snapchat pioneer ‘talking with pictures’ (a core use of the app), and popularize augmented reality for the masses – like the famous puppy face or dancing hot dog.
Lenses became a viral hit for advertisers in late 2015, as millions of users began choosing to play with brand campaigns that turned their heads into tacos, dunked them with Gatorade, and so on. Lenses can massively boost awareness or sales for a brand, product, film — as the average user plays with a Lens for 10-15 seconds, and can then send that fun Snap to their friends, which is a powerful recommendation.
Snapchat has continued to evolve the format, launching 3D World (object) Lenses last year after the success of the famous dancing hot dog Lens. In April, the company launched ‘Shoppable AR’, a new type of AR Lens advertising that in addition to boosting awareness, adds a button users can tap to browse a product page, download an app, or watch a movie trailer. This feature, combined with the Snap Pixel released for all advertisers in June, allows advertisers to measure the return on their investment by tracking the purchases made after engaging with the AR ad.
Adweek wrote on the highly efficient pricing and ROI this summer, now that Lenses have a full suite of targeting and measurement: “Advertisers can pay between $10 and $14 for 1,000 AR lens plays with no minimum ad buy. Another option is a Snap ad that requires users to swipe up to unlock an AR feature. Those are even cheaper, ranging between $3 and $5 per 1,000 impressions.
According to Nielsen Catalina, the campaigns seem to work. The measurement company—which recently expanded its partnership with Snap for increased ad-targeting—measured 22 CPG brand campaigns and found an average sales lift of 10 percent. Nielsen’s in-app polling also found that lenses increased ad awareness by 19 points while also increasing brand lift by 7 points.
“We are excited to be a launch partner for the Creative Lens Partner programme with Snapchat. AR offers us the opportunity to bring ideas to life in more unexpected and immersive ways, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Snapchat to bring their knowledge and expertise in-house across our region,” said Noah Khan, Regional Head of Digital and Innovation – CEE, Africa and Middle East, TBWA.