Snapchat has broken new ground in its augmented reality advertising efforts, as BMW has opted for a Sponsored Lens to show off its new X2 model in AR.
Users who opt-in to the experience via ads running between user or publisher stories (or scan the corresponding Snapcode) can place a 3D model of the sedan in their physical environment. While the vehicle appears in gold by default, Snapchatters can also repaint the car in red and blue. Users can also peer inside the vehicle.
"Snapchat is young and modern – which suits BMW and the BMW X2 perfectly. We are enriching Snapchat users' digital experience through content they find appealing, with a high recognition value," said Jörg Poggenpohl, head of digital marketing at BMW, in a statement. "We wanted to insert ourselves in an organic way into the Snapchat environment and its users' world. That is the most meaningful way to address our fans in a style that fits the channel and the target group."
Earlier this month, BMW also sponsored a camera effect that paints user's faces in the BMW X2's Galvanic Gold finish. Available to Snapchatters in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK, the lens generated more than two million snaps and was viewed by more than 13 million users.
Unlike the earlier ARKit-powered app promotion from its competitor Porsche, BMW's decision to use Snapchat over ARKit allows the carmaker to reach beyond the iPhone population. However, in my experience, the world tracking was not nearly as stable as the ARKit implementation. You can try the experience out yourself by scanning the Snapcode below.
BMW is also utilizing HoloLens to promote the cars in select dealerships. Like the Snapchat promotion, users can repaint the vehicle. However, the HoloLens experience also promises to be more immersive, as prospective customers can drive a virtual BMW X2 through a maze.
"The X2 will appeal to a relatively new, young and digitally-savvy target group that is also looking for unique and contemporary experiences from communications," said Uwe Dreher, head of brand communication at BMW in a statement. "The Holo Experience delivers the desired technical wow-effect, which we hope will maximize our appeal to this target group in a fun and entertaining way, using innovative technology."