- Paramount Pictures is the first company to sponsor Snapchat's new augmented reality (AR) "trailer reaction lens" with a promotion for "Top Gun: Maverick," the movie sequel starring Tom Cruise, according to an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The AR lens lets Snapchat users see a preview for the film on their smartphone in a horizontal split-screen format while also recording their reactions with the device's front-facing camera. They can decorate their reaction shots with a digital overlay of a fighter-pilot helmet like the one that Cruise wears in the movie as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell.
- Fans can send the recorded video directly to other Snapchat users or post it as a Story. Paramount and Snapchat on Monday released the trailer reaction lens in the U.S. and Canada, with plans to expand the rollout to the U.K., France, Germany, Brazil and Mexico over the next few days. Paramount will release "Top Gun: Maverick" in the U.S. on June 26.
Paramount's Snapchat promotion for "Top Gun: Maverick" aims to reach a new generation of moviegoers who weren't even born when the original film was released in 1986. More than 90% of people ages 13 to 24 use Snapchat, along with 75% of 13- to 34-year-olds who are a key audience for summer blockbusters. Snapchat users spend an average of more than 30 minutes a day in the app, according to the company, which could help sponsors like Paramount engage younger consumers.
As much as the campaign aims to promote the movie, it also showcases Snapchat's latest AR lenses. More than 70% of the app's daily active users play with or view an AR lens eevery day, per internal data from parent company Snap.
The trailer reaction lenses let Snapchat users participate in the promotion with their own user-generated content to share with others, possibly extending the campaign's reach with viral growth. Snapchat is following in the footsteps of other platforms like YouTube and Twitter in attempting to encourage trailer reactions from users, which can generate more word-of-mouth for upcoming releases.
By asking people to create AR reaction shots, Paramount and Snapchat also can ensure that mobile viewers watch the entire 30-second video clip. Snapchat users who want to see more action shots from the film can tap on a "Watch Trailer" button to see a preview that's more than two minutes long.
Paramount's pioneering use of a trailer reaction lens follows other movie campaigns that integrated the latest technologies to reach younger viewers who are less likely to watch TV and see commercials for movies. Earlier this year, the film studio boosted viewership of a trailer for "Pet Sematary" with a 3D photo ad that appeared as though an undead cat's eyes were following users as they scrolled through their smartphone screens.
Previously, the studio promoted the release of the animated movie “Sherlock Gnomes” with an AR beauty experience on mobile devices. The campaign let mobile users decorate their selfies with makeup inspired by the movie and share them on social media. The studio's campaign for "Ghost in the Shell," the science fiction movie starring Scarlett Johansson, also included AR makeup features.