I’m all about generating buzz...for your brand, that is. In a world of selfies, influencers and followers, creating effective digital marketing strategies is one of our main goals at Codazen. Since the majority of consumers now conduct business on mobile devices— 58% of 18-to 29-year-olds use a smartphone to access the internet— augmented reality (AR) can be integral to indirect sales and brand awareness.

A well-designed AR experience gets people talking. And it really all boils down to a marketing strategy that focuses on a great customer experience. People prefer a brand that provides them a happy and satisfied feeling. That kind of positive exposure and goodwill can pay lasting dividends.

Using AR to Boost Social Media Marketing: ROI Don’t Lie

With 7 out of 10 Americans using social media, branded AR filters are a great way to promote a product. Social media users love playing with filters that transform faces into fantastical characters or add elements like tiaras and rainbows.

These filters have created really successful augmented reality campaigns. AR filters can generate dwell times of over 85 seconds and interaction rates of 20%. With numbers like that, it’s vital for brands to take advantage of AR’s potential to engage with millions of people.

Taco Bell did just that for Cinco de Mayo. The fast-food giant created a branded Snapchat filter that turned users’ faces into its signature dish: the taco. The AR filter was such a hit that it totaled more than 224 million views in just a single day, with the average user playing with the filter for 24 seconds before sending it as a snap. That’s 24 seconds of a user’s undivided attention before they shared taco-fied versions of themselves, all with Taco Bell’s logo in the bottom corner.

And it’s not just Snapchat. According to Facebook for Business, there are over 500 million accounts using Instagram Stories daily, with 90% of users following a business. Promoting on social media is especially important if marketers want to target a younger audience. A 2019 survey found that 73% of U.S. teens say Instagram is the best way for brands to reach them about new products or promotions.

Companies need a marketing strategy that appeals to this large, social-savvy audience. AR filters that create highly engaging and interactive moments worth capturing do just that.

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Source: Shutterstock.com

Perfect Match: Entertainment Meets Social Media

Significant buzz on launch day is on every marketer’s wishlist. An augmented reality campaign done right can generate attention on the most important promotional day.

Spotify utilized a branded Instagram augmented reality effect to promote the release of Headie One's new rap album. Using the AR filter, Instagrammers could place a mask over their face that mimics the album cover, including a tattoo like Headie One's on their chest. This is a great tactic to build awareness for people who don't normally follow album releases, but can find out something big is going on when they see their friends wearing the singer's mask.

Netflix uses a similar strategy to promote new seasons of their original series. When Season 3 of Selling Sunset dropped on the streaming service, fans were able to show their love for the show through Instagram's "Which Character Are You" AR filter and share their Selling Sunset persona with their followers.

HBO also promotes its shows using AR. To garner buzz around His Dark Materials, the cable network used Snapchat to let users take selfies with the animal characters from the fantasy series.

AR effects can get diehard fans engaged. The technology invites audiences to become part of the storytelling and this builds a fun and memorable brand experience while generating buzz. This emotional connection is another effective asset in the marketing strategy toolbox.

Love a Character? Be the Character.

At Codazen, we’re focused on increasing brand awareness by using marketing strategies tailored to clients. With so many Disney fans in the company, we decided to have some fun: our designers created interactive Instagram AR filters that include fan favorite characters from The Mandalorian. While the focus is on the Star Wars franchise, with fans being able to don a Mandalorian mask and interact with Baby Yoda, filters like these are extremely transferable to other franchises.

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Proof of concept video for Disney of a Baby Yoda AR filter. (Courtesy: Codazen.)

We can easily design AR effects to appeal to comic book movie enthusiasts or people who’ve always wanted to look like their favorite reality show star.

The draw of AR filters is that they invite fans into the story, creating an exclusive experience with the characters. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, any Instagram user can be Batman or Harry Potter or a taco. Filters let fans inhabit the identity. They combine AR marketing with the magic of personal connection.

Another important aspect of AR marketing lies in the fear of missing out. Every time there’s something trending on social media that’s dynamic and interactive and people begin to use and share it, then it’s not just the interest in that specific show or product anymore that’s fueling the excitement. It develops a momentum of its own that draws more and more interest. It makes users pause and ask, “What is this thing everyone is posting about?” Because they don’t want to miss out on the experience, they look it up themselves.

Codazen leverages the power of Instagram stories through our AR capabilities, and our filters can help drive engagement for the launch day of shows and products. These filters can be utilized to create an engaging brand presence, inviting fans to be part of the experience. It can also build awareness for those who don’t follow entertainment news as closely.

For shows like The Mandalorian and Selling Sunset, there’s already a fanbase eagerly awaiting new seasons of the series. But what if you have a show or product that doesn’t have a pre-existing fanbase? No worries. Codazen can help. As a creative technology company, our capabilities run the gamut from augmented reality and 3D to interactive websites and virtual reality.

We take pride in working closely with clients to create effective marketing strategies. Our cross-functional agile teams help accelerate a brand’s digital transformation by integrating cool tech with marketing and brand strategies to meet client goals.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you leverage the power of technology for your marketing needs.