- Verizon this week released its first geotargeted augmented reality (AR) experience for customers with its higher-speed 5G service in Snapchat. The wireless carrier is giving 5G customers a chance to see a virtual musical performance by Black Pumas singer Eric Burton outside the main branch of the New York Public Library in Manhattan, according to an announcement.
- Verizon customers with 5G smartphones who open Snapchat and use the Verizon Lens will see a 3D Bitmoji version of Burton dance to the band's entire song "Colors" amid "an explosion of flora and fauna from the sidewalks" surrounding the library. The performance uses Snapchat's Landmarker Lens technology for geotargeted AR experiences.
- For people who can't visit New York or don't have 5G service, Verizon on Nov. 22 will launch a 4G Worldview Lens featuring the Black Pumas that Snapchat users can access anywhere in the U.S. The 5G experience intends to flaunt the telecom's advanced cellular service, and it's the first one developed by Verizon and Snap as part of their 5G innovation partnership that expects to launch more 5G Landmarker Lenses soon, per the announcement.
Verizon aims to showcase the advanced capabilities of its 5G Ultra Wideband service in its collaboration with Snap to provide virtual music performance in a geotargeted AR experience. 5G service promises to offer mobile marketers a way to engage consumers with data-intensive AR content on smartphones and the next generation of wearables. As consumers buy 5G devices and sign up for higher-speed service, marketers will have more opportunities to transform their advertising into immersive experiences that reach consumers while they're on the go.
Developing those experiences does require specialized capabilities, as seen with Verizon and Snap's Landmarker Lens. Verizon Media, the advertising sales and digital content unit of the company, enlisted its RYOT studio to track Black Pumas singer Eric Burton's movements with motion-capture technology. Using the motion-capture data, RYOT and Snap created an animated version of the singer as a 3D Bitmoji, which is a personalized avatar in Snapchat.
For Snap, the activation marks several firsts — the first 5G Landmarker Lens, first full song to be used in a Snapchat Lens and the first 3D Bitmoji music performance — as the social media company seeks to keep people engaged on its image-messaging app. The company's AR ad offerings have become a major driver of revenue growth for Snap as marketers seek to engage younger consumers who use the app to connect with friends while they're stuck at home during the pandemic.
For Verizon, the expansion of 5G service is an opportunity to win over consumers from rivals like AT&T and T-Mobile. Promotions for its 5G service include an AR experience aimed at NFL fans who are unable to attend games in person. The "5G SuperStadium" experience in the NFL app lets owners of 5G iPhones access a variety of digital content, including "holomojis" of their favorite players.
Verizon and Snap have worked together on multiple activations as part of their innovation partnership. Those include a Super Bowl Lens in February that touted the benefits of Verizon technology for firefighters, though the Lens wasn't offered in 5G. Apple last month showcased Verizon's 5G service and Snapchat's AR experiences as part of the launch event for its first 5G iPhones. Verizon's recently launched "5G Built Right" campaign features Snapchat as the innovation partner for AR and includes retail placement in 12,000 stores nationwide.
Verizon also sponsors several Snap Originals shows featuring AR content, such as "First Person," a climate-focused series that debuted yesterday. The series was shot entirely with Snapchat Spectacles, the camera-equipped sunglasses made by Snap. Upcoming shows with AR experiences include the immersive dance show "Move It!" and reality competition show "Fake Up."
Upcoming collaborations include Verizon's Dec. 9 rollout of a special Spectacles offer for members of its Verizon Up Rewards program. The companies will introduce a Landmarker Lens in San Francisco early next year, integrate the Bitmoji keyboard with the Verizon Messenger app and sponsor an AR Creator Fund to develop immersive content for 5G, per information shared with Mobile Marketer.