Usually, flying into unknown territory would mean riding into the "danger zone", but Paramount and Snapchat are taking the trip anyway with one of Summer 2020's most anticipated movie sequels.
On Monday, Snapchat published a trailer reaction Lens, the first of its kind for the Snapchat, featuring the latest trailer for Top Gun: Maverick, which stars Tom Cruise reprising his iconic role Pete "Maverick" Mitchell.
The experience creates a horizontal split-screen, with the trailer playing in the top third and a Face Lens, which places a virtual pilot's helmet of the titular character on the user's head, occupying the remainder of the display.
In addition, using Snapchat's Shoppable AR e-commerce tools, the Lens includes a "Watch Trailer" button for viewers to see the full trailer directly within the app.
The Lens is in the app's AR carousel for iOS and Android users in the US and Canada, with the experience arriving in the UK, France, Germany, Brazil, and Mexico "in the coming days" according to a Snap spokesperson.
While the trailer reaction conceit breaks new ground for movie studios and Snapchat, the AR experience bears a striking resemblance to the virtual makeup try-on experience launched by YouTube. In fact, Disney used its tool to promote Maleficient: Mistress of Evil.
Both the new trailer reaction Lens from Snapchat and YouTube's AR tools capitalize on trendy subgenres of the user-generated video segment. If I were to make an educated guess, I'd say look out for AR tutorials to accompany cooking videos next.
Snapchat's AR platform has become a standard for movie advertising, with experiences for Terminator: Dark Fate, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and John Wick 3: Parabellum among the recent examples from film studios. The popularity of the app's AR effects has bled over to other areas of the entertainment industry as well, with HBO on the TV side, music artists Drake and Ariana Grande, and video game publishers like Blizzard also getting in on the act.
Despite Snapchat's seemingly large AR app market share, other mobile AR apps, such as Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Google Lens, Google Playground, and others taking a bite out of the entertainment pie.
Even native apps built on Apple's ARKit and Google's ARCore pose a threat, with apps for Spider-Man: Far from Home, The Purge TV series, and Childish Gambino publishing their own apps to promote their properties.
If that weren't enough, web-based AR experiences from the likes of 8th Wall and Vertebrae are also encroaching on Snapchat's turf.
So, perhaps a new kind of AR approach was just what Snapchat needed to fend off the immersive marketing competition, for now.
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