Every business is constantly looking to stay ahead of the game. This is especially important, if not necessary, in the ever changing technology industry – specifically within the realm of social media. When discussing social media trends of the younger generation, Snapchat generally comes to the forefront of our minds. Throughout the years that the app has been popular (it had a userbase of 10 million by October 2012 – feel old yet?), the company has introduced features such as My Story and filters to keep its users interested. The latest addition, Lenses, not only adds a brand new aspect to the app but also to potential Snapchat advertising opportunities. It allows users to press down on the screen and have a live filter added onto their face using facial recognition technology – if you’re like me, you’re already *over* the puking rainbow faces.
Sure, the filters are fun. Who wouldn’t want to give themselves big cartoony tears and send a picture of it to all their friends? There was one where you could even put big hearts where your eyes were supposed to be. The filters change regularly; Snapchat adds and deletes them on a daily basis. The day the feature was introduced, my phone was flooded with snaps of friends moving their mouths up and down. So why is this significant?
Various uses of augmented reality have proven to be a valuable tool for marketers. Augmented reality is a live view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input – i.e. the rainbow falling out of Snapchat users’ mouths. A widely recognizable use of augmented reality is the first down lines on the field during televised football games. The computer-generated image, the yellow line, is added onto the image of the field – all in real time. Google Glass, while it did ultimately fail, was another example of incorporating virtual elements into an image of the real world. Now that augmented reality is more accessible, how will advertisers take advantage of it?
Augmented reality marketing aims to positively affect brand attitude. In simple terms, when the consumer has a good experience using augmented reality, the goal is that they will associate that good experience with the brand that brought it to them – ultimately returning to the brand.
Ikea accomplished this through their 2014 catalogue that allowed customers to virtually place furniture in their homes. The app was downloaded a staggering 8.5 million times. Volvo released an app that resulted in a 293% increase in traffic to their website.
Snapchat Advertising Costs
Snapchat announced earlier this week that it would be pitching Lenses to advertisers for relatively steep prices: $450,000 per day Sunday through Thursday, $500,000 per day Friday and Saturday and $750,000 per holiday. So will marketers bite on this Snapchat advertising deal? Many of us have already seen promotions for various movies on Snapchat. So if businesses do invest in a Snapchat filter, will they use the facial recognition feature (i.e. puking rainbows, cartoony tears, etc.)? Despite past comparisons of augmented reality to the QR code (may it rest in peace), Snapchat Lenses may be a sign that AR is here to stay. We, as consumers, want what is new and exciting – Lenses are just that.
So what do you think? Will augmented reality be a pivotal asset for companies to affect brand attitude? Or will it quickly rise, fall, and join QR codes and Google Glass in the graveyard of fallen technology? Stay tuned for how advertisers as well as consumers respond in the coming months to this new Snapchat advertising option.