- Gucci is sponsoring the first luxury fashion Portal Lens on Snapchat as part of the brand's holiday campaign. The augmented reality (AR) lens gives the illusion of stepping through a computer-generated portal to visit a psychedelic tropical island that shows virtual handbags and accessories. The AR experience also is available in the Gucci app, per details shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The mobile experience also includes a Snapchat Lens that uses a smartphone's front-facing camera to let users take selfies while immersed in the fluorescent-colored water that appears in the Portal Lens.
- Gucci's AR lenses are available today in Snapchat's Lens Carousel, which features a selection of immersive features that Snapchatters can share with contacts in the messaging app.
Gucci's AR lenses on Snapchat aim to engage the app's users in an immersive experience as the luxury brand ramps up marketing for the critical holiday shopping season. Seventy percent of Snapchat's daily active users play with or view AR lenses every day, according to parent company Snap, giving sponsors like Gucci a chance to reach younger consumers who are less likely to see advertising in traditional media like TV or print.
Gucci is among the brands that have sponsored a Snapchat Portal Lens this month to reach holiday shoppers. Department store chain Kohl's and toy retailer Toys 'R' Us also invited Snapchatters to step into a virtual realm that showcased their latest wares. In addition to offering an immersive brand experience, both retailers let Snapchat users make direct purchases from their respective websites. Retail showcasing is one of the most promising applications for AR technology. By letting consumers see 3D renditions of products before making a online purchase, retailers can help to boost customer satisfaction and reduce costly product returns.
However, it doesn't appear that Gucci's Snapchat experience allows users to further inspect product details or make direct purchases. This friction could frustrate some users looking for seamless mobile shopping experiences. At the same time, it's unlikely that a flurry of users would make snap purchases of Gucci's high-end products after viewing a virtual version on a social media app.
A number of luxury brands are ramping up their digital experiences, perhaps in response to how affluent millennial consumers are different from affluent consumers in other age groups.
Virgin Voyages, the adults-only cruise line that starts sailing next year, plans to offer passengers the ability to
shake their smartphones while using the Virgin Voyages Sailor App to request Möet Chandon Impérial delivery anywhere aboard the ship. In another example, Louis Vuitton is creating a Trophy Travel Case for holding the 2019 League of Legends World Championships trophy.
Snapchat has made AR a key part of its user experience for several years, and its Portal Lens provides an even more immersive application for the technology. The image-messaging app this year expanded the range of AR experiences for brands that seek to engage the app's users. Warner Bros. in March used Snapchat's first voice-activated AR lens to promote the superhero movie "Shazam!" Snapchat also offers Landmark Lenses that can be geotargeted near tourist hot spots. HBO and Sony Pictures this year used Landmark Lenses as part of their hyper-localized promotions.