Snapchat has launched some new AR activations for Lunar New Year which aim to educate users on Chinese culture and influence, in addition to celebrating the broader event.
The first Lens is a new AR experience that takes users through the story of Asian-American businesswoman Lucy Yu, the owner of ‘Yu & Me Books’ in NYC, which is an independent bookshop that’s dedicated to showcasing stories from underrepresented authors.
As explained by Snap:
“Lucy, an avid reader from an early age, started Yu & Me books in 2021 to help showcase stories from underrepresented authors. She believes that shared storytelling can drive meaningful change, and it’s her hope that Yu & Me, which focuses on books by immigrant authors, will serve as a space to celebrate underrepresented writers.”
The AR experience, which can be activated by scanning the Yu & Me Books storefront through the Snapchat camera, uses animated visuals to tell Yu’s story, with graphics inspired by traditional Chinese watercolors “and engineered to replicate the gentle sway of a paper pop-up book”.
In addition to this, Snap’s also adding Snap Map Markers to key Chinatown businesses across Chinatowns in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, which could help to inspire more discovery and engagement with local Chinese communities.
It’s a good way for Snap to share more diverse stories in the app, and use its Lunar New Year tools for more than basic celebration.
Finally, Snap’s also added a new Year of the Tiger Lens, which uses Sky Segmentation technology to add an animated watercolor tiger jumping through the clouds.
It’s an interesting tie-in, using the Lunar New Year celebration as an educational prompt, in order to help more people get a deeper understanding of the impact that Chinese culture and people have had on American society. And as noted, it could also help get more users to make new connections with their local Chinese communities.
You can check out the new activations in Snapchat.