- Snap Inc., the parent company of social media platform Snapchat, today (Oct. 19) unveiled Arcadia, a new division operating an independent creative studio for branded augmented reality (AR), according to details emailed to Marketing Dive.
- At launch, Arcadia has partnerships with P&G Beauty, Verizon and WWE. These and other clients will work with the studio to explore the next generation of branded AR experiences that can be deployed across platforms, web and app-based environments.
- As AR adoption continues to grow, Snap is launching Arcadia as a way to gain early-mover advantage by deepening its relationships with major marketers who are exploring how to engage consumers in a quickly evolving media landscape.
With Arcadia, Snap is betting AR's role in marketing will continue to grow and that marketers need help determining the technology's use cases and how to build engaging experiences. Snap seeks to further assemble an AR business that also includes its Creator Marketplace and Lens Web Builder while striving to elevate the overall ecosystem through a platform-agnostic approach. In September, Snap teamed with WPP to launch the AR Lab focused on linking the technology with commerce.
To showcase where AR technology might be headed next, Snap installed the Snap Shack AR Shop at Advertising Week, which takes place this week at New York's Hudson Yards. At the shop, limited-edition merchandise will be available to purchase through AR commerce and custom Snap Shack Lenses will be on Snapchat.
Marketers are embracing virtual product trials via AR as the pandemic drags on, reducing opportunities for consumers to sample products in-person at stores. Recent research backs the idea that AR shopping has room to grow. In 2022, 94% of people plan to use AR for shopping the same or more compared with 2021, per a Deloitte study cited by Snap. Additionally, 62% of U.S. consumers who have used AR while shopping said it encouraged them to make a purchase, according to research by Snap and Foresight Factory.
"For P&G Beauty, we are committed to create native experiences for our customers, and really market in new spaces that differentiate us from others," Benjamin Spiegel, chief digital officer at P&G Beauty, said in a statement. "Working with Arcadia will allow us to create those opportunities, as we look to leverage AR across multiple platforms to deliver the right creative ideas to the right customer."
Arcadia will operate independently to serve clients' needs and develop experiences that can be deployed on Snapchat and other platforms in web and app-based environments. This platform-agnostic approach could make Arcadia more attractive to marketers and provide Snap a foothold in the AR market beyond its own walled garden.
Arcadia will have clients of record while also taking on projects that meet its mission. It plans to offer workshops, insights and trend reporting. The studio's goal is to develop the next generation of sponsored AR experiences and help advance the AR production ecosystem.