Snapchat lets users get in on the Olympics action with AR filter

The Olympics might be well underway but that doesn't mean users can't get in on the fun and excitement. Snapchat celebrated the commencement of the Olympics with an AR filter named "Train like an Olympian", making use of its body-tracking technology to encourage users to stay active. Users will have to complete three exercises before the time runs out and Snapchat will reward them with a virtual firework display at the end of the workout. 

Citing a 2020 global survey, Snapchat found that about 30% of Snapchatters use Lenses and post to their Story while watching sports, while 48% send direct Snaps or Chats to their friends while in the middle of a game. A spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that it partnered with the International Olympic Committee to offer its 293 million daily active users with a unique and exciting digital experience on Snapchat in conjunction with the Games.

snapchat cameos olympics

"We know that our community loves sports, and our platform is the go-to place for engaged and interactive sports fans who don’t just watch content on Snapchat - they create it. We’re excited to help fans level-up their sports-watching experience and create meaningful connections with their loved ones through these features," added the spokesperson. At the same time, the official Olympics account on Instagram also introduced an AR filter that challenges fans to match the Olympic mascot’s poses in the correct sequence. It is also offering Olympic-themed Cameos, a personalised and animated gif customised with the user’s face, for users to support their country, athletes, and favourite Olympic sport in their Snaps.

Meanwhile, the IOC also produced a few shows available on Snapchat, including “Best of Olympics”, covering the top athletes and stories of the past editions of the Olympics. Users are also able to watch IOC’s original five-episode series called “Unleash the New”. The series is co-created with Worldwide Olympic Partner Toyota, and aims to inspire viewers by sharing the stories of five athletes set to feature in some of the new sports debuting at the Games this year, such as 3x3 basketball and skateboarding.

Just yesterday, the company also launched a global marketing campaign urging users to "Open Your Snapchat". The campaign intends to show how Snapchat's camera opens the door to activities such as eCommerce as well as engaging with family and friends. The campaign invites Snapchatters to experience the power of the Snapchat Camera to play, express themselves, and connect with friends via AR Lenses.

The multi-pronged campaign will run throughout until the end of 2021. It was first introduced in major cities in the US, UK and Mexico and will arrive in India in APAC at a later date. According to Snap, more details will be shared nearer to the launch date. At the same time, the campaign includes a B2B prong that is aimed at marketers and will launch in the fourth quarter of 2021 and like the B2C component, this leg of the campaign also runs globally and will be expanding to territories such as Australia, Canada, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, among others. The B2B aspect will highlight brand success stories globally and how marketers can enhance their brand experience for the Snapchat generation community.

Snap also has co-marketing brand partners associated with the campaign, including Disney+, promotion of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ epic film Dune, and AR try-on experiences with incredible brand partners such as Ralph Lauren, Piaget, Farfetch, Jordan Brand, Zenni and American Eagle, among others.

The company has been doubling down on its AR features. According to its website, AR is “core to the Snapchat experience”, boasting an average of over 75% of the community engaging with augmented reality through the app. Earlier this year in May, it introduced its AR glasses called “Spectacles” to a select group of creators, which allows users to overlay the AR Lenses directly onto the world they see in real-time. 

The app's parent company, Snap, reported a 116% revenue increase to US$982 million during the second quarter of this year, compared to the previous year. Its net loss also narrowed by 53% to US$152 million. Its daily active users globally stood at 293 million in Q2 2021, marking a 23% year-on-year increase.

CEO Evan Spiegel said it is pleased by the progress the team is making with the development of its AR platform. Some innovations included the improvement of try-on capabilities with Lens Studio 4.0, including multi-person 3D body mesh, and a new visual effects editor for more realistic Lenses.

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