News: Target Treats Shoppers with Augmented Reality Tricks via Snapchat

Target Treats Shoppers with Augmented Reality Tricks via Snapchat

Big-box retailer Target has been on a bit of an augmented reality advertising shopping spree via Snapchat lately.

The latest example, revealed on Tuesday, comes via a pair of Halloween-themed experiences, available in the camera carousel in Snapchat.

The first experience starts on the front-facing camera, where users can wear three virtual costumes, including a witch, a unicorn, and a mermaid.

But that's not all, the AR treats continue on the rear camera, where a virtual door opens to a cartoonishly haunted house. In this case, users are prompted to find hidden items throughout the scene. The experience is available now for free for iOS and Android devices.

Images by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

This isn't the first branded AR experience that Target has placed in Snapchat. Over the summer, the retailer ran a shopping mini-game that challenged users to catch home goods and seasonal products in their cart by tilting their heads. More recently, the company served up a back-to-school-themed Lens that turned users into various school supplies.

The company has also published a few AR experiences via Lens Studio that are accessible via the Lens Explorer search function. Two of the Lenses feature its mascot, Bullseye, one in tribute to Pride Month and another for football season. The third Lens presents a bouncing gummy bear that changes colors with a tap of the screen.

Images by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

Over the past two years, the company has shown that it is comfortable with AR as a marketing tactic. It has previously used the technology for virtual product previews of furniture and cosmetics through its online store.

The company eventually evolved its practice by adding an ARKit-based "see before you buy" for its iOS app and extended the same tool to the Android version.

Images by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

Now, Target's embrace of Snapchat seems like a natural fit. And there also seems to be a common theme to Target's AR ads -- while other brands have come to leverage Shoppable AR to drive customers to their web stores or install apps, Target instead uses AR to drive users to stop by their physical store.

Therefore, Target's Snapchat ads serve as reminders to shoppers that Target is a destination for their seasonal needs, whether its a trip to the beach over the summer, school supplies for the kids, or Halloween decorations, costumes, and candy.

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Cover image via Target/Twitter

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