From the flower crown to puking rainbows, Snapchat reimagines filters like no social media platform has before. These “face masks,” which show up when Snapchatters use the app’s camera, allow users to apply glasses, hats and a plethora of other accessories to their faces. Some filters, also referred to as Lenses, even distort faces and voices, which allows Snapchat to take the lead over Instagram in terms of filters.
More than 70 million Snapchat users take photos using Snapchat filters daily so it’s not surprising that Snapchat has taken Lenses to the next level.
Their latest filters are a step up from Sponsored Lenses, which are filters paid for by a brand to feature their name and a branded augmented reality element. The Crocs sponsored filter puts a red Croc on a user’s head like a hat.
The newest Snapchat filters, known as Shoppable AR filters, let users shop their favorite brands. Big names like Nike, Clairol and STX Entertainment have already jumped on board.
The Interaction of Shoppable AR
Shoppable AR provides an incredibly interactive element for Snapchatters using the front-facing and rear-facing cameras. These filters can include brand colors, multiple accessories or face warping, all for advertisement.
A “SHOP” or “WATCH” button, linked to the brand’s promotional material, can be found above the shutter button for easy access. This brings websites, movie trailers and app installation right to users’ screens without ever leaving the Snapchat app.
Companies can even utilize the rear-facing camera, having it mimic elements from the front-facing filter or providing a different experience for the user.
For example, Nike’s Shoppable AR uses the rear-facing camera to engage users in a game in which Snapchatters race a fuzzy pink monster as far as they can in 30 seconds while dodging obstacles and collecting pieces. The game helps Nike stir up excitement about their new sneakers while promoting how fast the monster can “run” in Nike shoes.
Brands Are Already Using Shoppable AR
A number of notable brands have already seized the opportunity to use Shoppable AR and market their brand through Snapchat shopping.
- Nike — Nike is pushing their new React sneaker through Shoppable AR with a fun front-facing filter featuring “GO” bubble letters that float up through the screen around a user’s face. Their “SHOP” link pulls up Nike’s online shopping page and as previously mentioned, the rear-facing camera provides a gaming experience.
- Candy Crush — King, owner of Candy Crush, deployed a Shoppable AR that features a mock-up of a winning game move, followed by a piñata and confetti. The filter then links the Snapchatter to the App Store to download Candy Crush.
- “I Feel Pretty”— STX Entertainment, the studio producing Amy Schumer’s latest comedy, “I Feel Pretty,” uses Shoppable AR for promotion. The front-facing camera features “I Feel Pretty” written in the corner, advertising the release date. The filter is bordered by lights that flash as you tap the screen. With each tap, the message updates to “I Feel Pretty Confident,” followed by various other descriptions: “Awesome,” “Fierce,” “Loved” and “As I Am.” Each time the message changes, the border morphs to match. Their filter links to the “I Feel Pretty” movie trailer.
- Clairol — Clairol uses Shoppable AR to promote their Color Crave Metallic Hair Makeup and Semi-Perm Hair Color. Their front-facing filter changes the color of the user’s hair to reflect the products Clairol offers, allowing users to try on the product before they buy it. Their “SHOP NOW” button links to their webpage for an instant connection to the product.
- Adidas — Adidas promoted their DEERUPT sneakers with a front-facing filter that places a gridded gradient over the user’s face. When a Snapchatter smiles, the DEERUPT sneaker pops up on screen. Their “SHOP NOW” button links to their webpage for easy browsing.
The Creation of Shoppable AR Filters
Businesses can create their Shoppable AR filters in Snapchat’s Lens Studio, which includes seven new templates to let brands build their own digital masks. These templates include hats, face paint and tools to attach three dimensional objects to a Snapchatter’s head.
Snapchat has even integrated Giphy’s library so filters can feature a wide array of GIFs.
The Cost of Shoppable AR
The cost for businesses to advertise with Shoppable AR has not yet been released. But with $0.99 per regular AR face mask charged to companies, the cost for Snapchat’s Shoppable AR face mask is likely an inexpensive and worthwhile marketing investment.