The new film Brightburn, a horror take on the superhero genre produced by Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, debuted in theaters on Friday, and it has some promotional backing from Snapchat to drive ticket sales.
Available via Snapcode, the augmented reality experience uses the front-facing camera on your smartphone. When Snapchat users raise their eyebrows, they are turned into the movie's eponymous anti-hero, complete with glowing eyes.
Sony Pictures opted for the Shoppable AR Lens for the camera effect, giving users the option to jump immediately to the film's website to buy tickets.
Augmented reality has become a popular marketing tactic for movie studios, and Sony is no exception. Like its peers, though, the studio is decidedly non-committal in selecting a favored platform.
In addition to Snapchat, Sony has published augmented reality experiences via Facebook, 8th Wall Web, Meitu, the HoloLens, and even published an AR game. Then again, it's not like advertisers only run their promotions on one media outlet. And since variety is the spice of life, even in AR, live it up, movie marketers!
However, Snapchat's Shoppable AR platform does give advertisers an advantage in terms of turning AR ads into calls to action, which can be particularly useful for pushing moviegoers to buy tickets on the spot.