It was only a matter of time, but Snapchat has this week confirmed that their 3D World Lenses - which they introduced last November - will now be available as an ad option, with Warner Bros and Bud Light partnering with Snapchat on the first iterations of the tool.
The option will clearly hold appeal for some advertisers - while these initial examples seem fairly basic, in terms of how they could be used, Snapchat's talking up their potential, using the popularity of their 'Dancing Hot Dog' Lens to demonstrate:
"Perhaps you've seen our Dancing Hot Dog spinning across the world. He's a new friend of ours, and one of our most popular Lenses to date. The Dancing Hot Dog was viewed more than 2 billion times on Snapchat - a testament to how much our community loves amazing augmented reality experiences inside the camera. Now, you can create yours."
Snapchat's 'Dancing Hotdog'
Indeed, CEO Evan Spiegel recently described the Dancing Hot Dog as "the world's first augmented reality superstar" - it still feels somewhat strange to be discussing rainbow vomit and dancing food items in a business context. But here we are.
In addition to adding animated characters, Snap also notes that the option can be used to showcase your products in real-world scenes. This is similar to Ikea's new 'Place' app - through a sponsored 3D Lens, you could enable your customers to position a piece of furniture in their home, which, through Snapchat's tools, would 'stick' in place, letting the user see how it looks from different angles.
The new 3D World Lenses will be a higher end ad option on Snapchat. To purchase a campaign, you'll need to go through Snap's direct sales team - they won't be available via the recently launched self-serve ad platform (as with all Lens campaigns).
The campaigns will be available in two formats - as explained by Marketing Land:
- They can run as traditional Sponsored Lens campaigns, where they'll only show up when people swipe through the gallery of Lenses to apply one to their post. As with a normal Sponsored World Lens campaign, a Sponsored 3D World Lens must be bundled with a traditional Sponsored Lens that's available through the phone's front-facing camera in order to appear in the Lens gallery, according to a Snapchat spokesperson.
- Or they can be attached to a Snap Ad and be promoted outside of the Lens gallery. Users can swipe up on the vertical video ad to use the Lenses, marking the first time that a Lens can be used as a Snap Ad attachment.
Snap says that, on average, campaigns with Lenses drive a 19.7 point lift in ad awareness, a 6.4 point lift in brand awareness, and a 3.4 point lift in action intent. And with 1 in 3 of the app's 173 million daily active users interacting with Lenses every day, there's clear potential, though price will be a restrictive factor for most.
Snap needs a few wins to boost their performance after their first two market reports failed to impress. The main narrative Snap Inc. would like to push is that its users are more engaged - they can't compete with Facebook and Instagram on total user counts, but if Snap can show that their audience is more likely to buy because they're more active within the app, that could give them a unique selling point.
This far, Snap has failed to prove that case, but additions like this could help improve engagement and revenue per user, boosting the app's performance.