One of the most prestigious annual events for the advertising industry, the Cannes Lions is the ideal backdrop for Snapchat to show the brands and agencies in attendance what it's got.
On Monday, Snap did just that by opening an augmented reality exhibit at the La Malmaison art gallery featuring the digital creations of innovative Los Angeles-based artist Alex Israel.
Inside the La Malmaison, Snap and Israel have installed five "Snap-Portraits" that are brought to life via Snapchat's Marker Tracking. Influenced by Israel's passion for his hometown, the portraits host virtual palm trees, pelicans, and a gym, among other experiences.
On the gallery's outside, Snap has deployed its new Landmarker AR technology to project a digital doppelgänger of Israel hovering over the building and sending virtual Snaps to passersby.
According to a Snap spokesperson, the Landmarker AR experience is a one-time-only installation, meaning the La Malmaison will not join the list of semi-permanent physical AR targets, which includes the TCL Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, the Flatiron Building in New York, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, which all trigger specialized AR content.
Snapchat's financial fortunes are reliant on the advertising industry, so events like Cannes Lions are critical to ensuring that account executives and creative teams continue to look to Snapchat to promote their brands.
The Marker Tracking and Landmarker AR Lenses are the two AR offerings that Snapchat has high hopes for in terms of wooing advertisers in the market to use its tools. The former has already served as the basis for campaigns for Snap Original series Bringing up Bhabie, Nike, the NBA Finals, and a "Game of Thrones" promotion for the American Red Cross. The latter has found a home promoting "Game of Thrones" and celebrating Pride Month.
If Snap's showcase draws the right amount of influence with its captive audience at Cannes Lions, Snapchat users may find themselves scanning even more posters and buildings in the coming months.