Snapchat’s AR offerings may be a sleeping giant for brand marketers seeking to engage Gen Z users resistant to traditional banner or video ads.

Why Marketers Shouldn’t Overlook Snap 

Snapchat has 347 million daily users who spend an average of 27 minutes a day on the site—that’s more active viewers than the entire population of the U.S. and just three minutes less than Facebook. Snapchat also has great demographic engagement for those seeking to reach 13-34 year-olds. According to the company, 75 percent of millennials and Gen Z use Snapchat, and most of these users are also Instagram and TikTok users. Brand marketers can reach the same audiences on those sites through Snapchat—with the added benefit of engaging creative options like AR.

Outside – There Be AR Dragons

Before HBO’s House of the Dragon launched on August 21, Snap helped HBO bring the show’s iconic dragons to life through a dragon-themed AR lens. Snap’s selfie Lens allows users to transform their image into a fire-breathing dragon and fly and interact with other dragons in worldview mode.

Customized location-based AR experiences for Los Angeles, Rio De Janeiro, London, Mumbai and Prague will continue to roll out throughout the season. HBO’s use of AR with Snap is telling, with an estimated $100 million in media spend available for House of the Dragon. Why AR for a network that could seemingly spend almost “anything” on “anything?” Well, they work, according to a recent study, even better than many traditional ad formats. According to a recent study by Magna Global, AR ads perform just as well as pre-roll video ads for brands and outperform them when it comes to purchasing intent and consumers stating that the ad made them feel closer to the brand and excited about using the product or service. Per the report, those results were uniformly positive among respondents in Australia, Canada, France, and The US—with purchase intent showing a 13 percent boost at the beginning of the sales journey after the initial viewing. 

How Marketers Can Use AR To Boost Brand Engagement

AR has plenty of non-fantasy applications to offer brand marketers. Here are just three:

Product Interactions

Leveraging AR technology to get users to engage virtually can be a powerful tool for promoting brand recall. According to the Magna Global report, 70 percent of consumers surveyed reported that a virtual try-on option would boost their purchase intent.

Adding AR Into The Mix Of Retargeted Ads Or A New Ad Sequence

Users already on a purchase journey may react best to an engaging AR ad. Users in the middle of an ad sequence showed a 27 percent increase in their “excitement about the brand.”

Use AR As A Content Alternative

AR delivers what few other ad formats can: a user’s full attention. Getting a consumer to sit still and consume ad content is hard work—but not when it is engaging—and AR goes a long way to deliver on the “fun” aspect of content by gamifying interactions. 

A big plus for brand marketers seeking to dabble in AR is that 63% of Snapchat users, about 200 million people, interact with an AR feature daily, according to the company. Whether marketers use an influencer to promote preexisting AR content or develop original content, AR can be a painless way to bring a brand into the metaverse.