Market Reality: Snapchat's World Lenses Are Just the Tip of the AR Advertising Iceberg

Snapchat's World Lenses Are Just the Tip of the AR Advertising Iceberg

Snapchat is mostly credited as the first AR social network, and, like most social media companies, its revenue model is nested largely within advertising. As such, the company now has a new avenue for branded content.

Of course, they are not the only mobile advertising game in town. In fact, mobile games (no pun intended) are one of them. As anyone who has played an ad-supported mobile game can attest, the industry is quite incestuous, with most ads within mobile games being for other mobile games. Now, those ads can be viewed in AR.

Lastly, two different companies are using AR repackage products that are on fire figuratively and literally (respectively).

Snapchat Introduces 3D World Lens to Advertisers

For Snapchat, AR ads sell, and bands are buying. The company announced this week that it will begin offering augmented reality ads with 3D World Lens.

Users will be able to anchor and manipulate branded 3D content to their physical environment and capture images and video as they would with the original incarnation of World Lens. The company has already drawn attention from users with World Lens in 2D; its viral Dancing Hotdog has garnered more than two billion views.

Moreover, Snapchat can point to successful Lens campaigns from brands and creative properties like Gatorade, Kraft, McDonald's, Smirnoff, Empire, and Suicide Squad, to name a few. Snapchat cites an average 19.7 point lift in ad awareness, a 6.4 point lift in brand awareness, and a 3.4 point lift in action intent for their Lenses campaigns.

(1) Sponsored 3D World Lens from Bud Light, (2) An non-sponsored World Lens example. Images by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

ironSource Launches Ad Platform for AR Games

This week, mobile marketing company ironSource introduced an augmented reality ad platform aimed at developers of mobile games.

While ironSource will develop the ads themselves, the platform will enable game makers to provide content from their titles for the ad content, which will be superimposed into the real world for viewers. Leveraging ironSource's mobile video SDK, advertisers will have access to more than 80,000 integrations to place their ads.

"For mobile AAA games which are often 3D and filled with special effects, AR ads finally offer a format that can evoke the true nature and experience of the game in an ad experience," said Dan Greenberg, chief design officer at ironSource, in a statement. "Ultimately, amazing creative experiences are not enough to guarantee campaign results. You need to be able to access large volumes of relevant users, and to live close enough to the data to iterate and optimize."

Mattel Revives Hot Wheels via AR Toys & App from Osmo

Old school toy maker Mattel has joined forces with the new school Osmo to turn the former's Hot Wheels brand into an AR experience with the latter's digital playthings.

For $59, Osmo offers MindRacers, an iPad dock playset with a set of six Hot Wheels cars. As shown in the video below, the ramp launches the physical toys into a digital race on the corresponding iPad. (iPad sold separately.)

Osmo was founded in 2013 by ex-Googlers Jérôme Scholler and Pramod Sharma.

Future Farm Rolls Up AR Experience for Cannabis Packaging

Apparently, cannabis company Future Farm wanted to an augmented reality box to put their weed in.

AR E1 has licensed their patented AR technology to Future Farm for exclusive use in the cannabis industry.

"With this AR platform, we have a first mover advantage in the cannabis market," says William Gildea, CEO of Future Farm, in a statement. "The AR market is estimated to grow to a $120 billion industry by 2020. This is a major opportunity for Future Farm to be at the forefront of this fast-growing technology and merge it with cannabis, another of the fastest growing market sectors in the world."

Future Farm uses the technology for their CannaCube Live platform, which enhances brand packaging with AR and provides an advertising platform for growers, sellers, and others in the industry. Far out, man.

Every Friday, Next Reality reviews the latest headlines from the financial side of augmented and mixed reality. This weekly Market Reality column covers funding announcements, mergers and acquisitions, market analysis, and the like. Check out previous editions of Market Reality for more news you may have missed.

Cover image via Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

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