There have been enough music artists releasing Snapchat AR experiences over the past week to fill a small festival. Count them with me: Bruno Mars. Gucci Mane. Kodak Black. Missy Elliot. Imagine Dragons. Panic! At the Disco.
The barrage of AR camera effects come courtesy of Lens Studio, which is also making the extra effort to draw attention to these Lenses via its Twitter account.
The latest example comes from Atlantic Records, who published the Lens for "Wake Up in the Sky," a hit collaboration between Bruno Mars, Gucci Mane, and Kodak Black. The Lens recreates a scene from the music video, which has more than 297 million views to date on YouTube.
The lens was built by creator Cat Owens, a senior manager of motion graphics at Atlantic Records. It uses Snapchat's sky segmentation technology, so users can project the trio on their nearest horizon as they belt out the song's hook.
Next up on the AR stage is the inimitable Missy Elliott (who is no stranger to Snapchat AR effects) with the "Missy - The Rain" Lens.
Here, Ms. Supa Dupa Fly gives fans to wear a piece of one of her iconic costumes from her hit video of the same name.
Back to the rear-facing camera, we have Imagine Dragons with an AR Lens for its song "Bad Liar." Created by SVRF, the Lens uses the tried-and-true virtual portal to bring fans into an imaginary world. Unlike the previous examples, the virtual world doesn't appear to have a specific connection to the song's music video.
Finally, we have Panic! At the Disco with "The Amazing Beebo," which is apparently some big inside joke between lead singer Brendon Urie and the band's fans. With this AR camera effect, fans can turn themselves into a Beebo muppet.
To try these Lenses for yourself, scan the Snapcodes below or click the links for the titles of each Lens below. Alternately, since all of these Lenses were built in Snapchat's Lens Studio, users can search for them within the Lens Explorer tool.
The Lenses are indicative of a larger trend that has gained momentum over the past year. Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Ariana Grande have strategically planted Shoppable Lenses to coincide with the release of their latest albums to help push units. Maroon 5 and Snoop Dogg have also employed Snapchat in creative ways to engage fans.
Of course, Snapchat is not the exclusive province of the music industry. Guns n' Roses and Slipknot have opted for Facebook for their AR promotions. Standalone apps are also an option, as demonstrated by David Bowie and Childish Gambino (who also demonstrated how artists can leverage Google's Playground AR camera for Pixel smartphones).
But the refrain remains the same: the music industry is hip to this augmented reality thing. And Lens Studio and Spark AR are giving artists (and their marketing teams) the instruments to take ownership of the creative process behind the AR experience.
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