Sponsored Snapchat World Lenses bring brand characters to augmented reality

Snapchat World Lenses

A number of characteristic brand icons could be coming to Snapchat’s augmented reality options. During Advertising Week New York, Snap Inc. debuted the first set of brand sponsored Snapchat World Lenses.

World Lenses put virtual objects in the real world through the Snapchat app and the smartphone camera, allowing users to explore the animated virtual objects from all sides. Now, brands can create sponsored World Lenses, putting their own characters into Snapchat’s AR options.

The first two sponsored World Filters explore a few of the platform’s opportunities. Warner Bros. is putting the Spinner car from Blade Runner 2049, putting the futuristic car flying through the real world. Bud Light also has a new 3D World Lens in the form of a baseball-game-style beer guy, complete with a little dance.

The idea is to bring a brand’s mascot, product or other easily recognizable items into Snapchat’s mix of augmented reality. While the first two showcase the character side, Snapchat also suggests that brands could use the option to add virtual products to a real-life scene, which isn’t too far from Ikea’s platform that allows users to try out furniture in their own home.

Sponsored World Lenses can be run nationally like the Bud Lite and Blade Runner characters, or can be used in conjunction with Snapchat’s targeted advertising tools, which allows businesses to reach out to specific audiences by age, gender or interests.

Snapchat’s advertising strategy changed earlier this year when the company made an agreement with Oracle Data Cloud for creating targeted ads using third-party data. These types of ads, instead of using information from a Snapchat profile, user data such as online purchases on other sites or spending habits from using a store loyalty card. The tool can be disabled by swiping off the Snap Audience Match, which means Snapchat will only track information shared in the app for advertising.

The new branded World Lenses is part of a series of several updates designed to encourage more advertising on the platform, now that Snap Inc. is on the New York Stock Exchange. Last year, the company also applied for a patent for tech that would recommend ads based on the items inside Snaps.