Snapchat launches sponsored 3D World Lenses, starting with Blade Runner

Snapchat is taking its World Lenses augmented reality feature and opening them up to brands. Snap’s Imran Khan just announced the availability of the new advertising product on stage at Advertising Week New York, along with launch partners Warner Bros and Bud Light, both of which will be debuting branded 3D World Lenses as part of marketing campaigns.

The new sponsored 3D World Lenses mean that brands can try to create their very own Dancing Hot Dog style viral sensations, though fear warning: A lovable hot dog might be a once in a lifetime thing.

These first two partners have their own 3D creations that you can add to real world scenes using the Snapchat camera. Warner Bros is putting the “Spinner” car from the new Blade Runner 2049 feature flick into action, and Bud Light is offering up some kind of beer vendor man, which is apparently from their ongoing TV campaign. Neither has hot dog-level charm, but it’s a start.

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World Lenses seems basically tailor-made for sponsored content, since it’s a natural way to bring brand properties into a user’s real-world interaction in a fairly natural way. Almost every brand has some kind of mascot or object that works well as an interactive experience, and as the hot dog (and to a lesser extent, the inflatable wavy tube dude thing) proved, people love messing around with virtual characters in real-world scenarios.

Snap also points out that these can work for product discovery and product trial – sort of like virtual showrooming, a la new Ikea app for ARkit. Remember that World Lenses actually anchor in place, letting you walk around the virtual 3D objects.

Brands can buy from Snap directly for 3D World Lenses, and they can either be run as a national campaign, as a targeted audience lens aimed at a certain age, gender or interest-based demo, or as a swipe up attachment for any standard Snap Ad.

If there’s ever been a reason for Dominos to bring back the Noid, this is it imo.