You Can Now Wear Joe Biden’s Aviators on Social Media

The presumptive Democratic nominee tries to have more of an online presence

Photo of a person using the Snapchat AR aviator feature with the text
Snapchat users can don a pair of Joe Biden aviators. Snap inc.
Headshot of Scott Nover

Key insight:

We know Joe Biden, presidential candidate. We know Joe Biden, rogue talker. But do we know Joe Biden, style icon? Well, now you can emulate Biden’s most memeable look: his aviator sunglasses. 

The presumptive Democratic nominee’s campaign released an augmented reality lens on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook that allows users to “try on Joe’s favorite aviators.” The stunt comes after The New York Times pronounced Biden is “losing the internet,” and questioned his reach online, especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The organic campaign went live today and users can find the lens on Biden’s social media accounts. 

Matt Hill, deputy national press secretary for Biden’s campaign, told Adweek that they have “seen the popular growth of AR lenses and knew we could think up some fun ways to make the Biden brand an immersive experience.”

“Our campaign has always been rooted in meeting people where they are, and we know there are lots of young people posting content with AR lenses and direct messaging it to their friends,” Hill said. “We’re continuing to scale up our digital operation, content, and tools to put us in a position of strength ahead of the general election and take on Donald Trump.”

Snapchat for one has postured itself as a platform for the candidates to reach young, new voters. According to Democracy Works, a nonpartisan nonprofit, 450,000 Snapchat users registered to vote in the 2018 midterm elections.

The lens puts AR aviators—branded with Biden’s signature in the top corner Ă  la Ray Ban—on the user. When the user smiles, fireworks go off at the top of the screen and the Biden campaign logo with a message to “Text Joe to 30330″ appears.

In the same spirit, the Biden campaign released a series of free branded designs last week, including #Joementum phone wallpapers, ice cream coloring book pages and Zoom backgrounds featuring Biden’s own credibility bookcase.

“Branding communicates values, and during this crisis we want to let Joe Biden’s values shine through,” Hill said. “Yes, it’s of course ice cream and aviators, but it’s also decency, empathy, hope, and everything that is just the polar opposite of Donald Trump. That’s what the Biden brand is all about and what it communicates.”

With the general election still months away, Biden’s window to connect with young, digital-native voters is far from shut. Will AR shades convert the Bernie Bros? It’s unlikely, but in a time when physical campaigning is impossible, some virtual swag shouldn’t hurt the cause.

@ScottNover Scott Nover is a platforms reporter at Adweek, covering social media companies and their influence.