Snapchat Shares 5 Tips for Brands Looking to Use Its AR Lenses

Snaps with lenses were up 37% in late March versus late February

Snapchat re-created the Italian Air Force’s salute to people in Italy who are staying home Snapchat

Snapchat shared five tips for how brands can re-create real-world experience in the form of augmented reality lenses in the era of social distancing.

The company wrote in a blog post, “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.”

On that note, Snapchat said it has seen a 37% increase in Snaps sent with lenses in late March compared with late February, as well as an 18% jump in play time with sponsored lenses and a 22% rise in swipe-up rate for sponsored lenses over the same time period.

Snapchat wrote, “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.”

Create an experience that entertains, educates or inspires: Snapchat said over 75% of its community engages with AR every day, on average, and brands should think of AR as a way to create impactful and engaging experiences that keep them top-of-mind.

Snapchat creative strategy tech lead Erik Harte said of Electronic Arts’ AR lens for The Sims 4, “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.”

Creative strategy telco lead Rachel Weiner said of the messaging application’s social distancing lens, “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.”


Empower Snapchatters to express their emotions: Snapchat wrote, “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.”

On that note, the messaging app re-created the Italian Air Force’s salute to people in Italy who are staying home.


Drive trial by bringing your product to Snapchatters: Snapchat said it has found that users have shown interest in “trying” products via AR before purchasing them, and brands can drive awareness and consideration by using AR lenses to create digital replicas of products accessible to users everywhere.

Footwear and sports equipment brand Asics teamed up with Atomic Design on a lens promoting its Novablast running shoe.


Transform Snapchatters’ living rooms into showrooms: People may not be able to physically shop at most stores right now, but they can simulate the experience via AR.

Snapchat director of Europe, Middle East and Africa creative strategy Will Scougal said of a recent effort by Lego to promote its Lego Wear clothing line, “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. Essentially, it’s a fun, innovative retail space, but rather than a physical store, it can be opened anywhere, at any time.”


Use the tools at your disposal: Brands can build their own AR lenses in minutes via Snap Inc.’s Lens Web Builder, work with one of the platform’s Certified Lens Creative Partners or become creators themselves via Lens Studio. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.