Snap launches a studio to help brands use AR

Arcadia will develop AR experience technology for brands globally.

As the digital and physical worlds merge, Snap wants to help advertisers use augmented reality to get in front of their audiences. So the company launched a global creative studio called Arcadia on Tuesday to do just that. 

Arcadia will work with brands and agencies to develop technology for platform-agnostic, AR experiences across the web and mobile apps.

The studio, which will operate independently as a division of Snap Inc., will provide services on a project basis and look for retainer accounts where it can offer ongoing AR strategy development, offer workshops in AR and keep up with trends in the space.

Arcadia is working with brands including Procter & Gamble Beauty, Verizon and WWE on developing AR filters, and is talking to others that are interested in using AR, but declined to name them. 

“Working with Arcadia has given us a one-stop-shop that is deeply connected to the ecosystem, with access to all the right details needed for compelling AR,” said Benjamin Spiegel, chief digital officer at P&G Beauty, in a statement. “They simplify the level of complexity in the AR marketplace to make it tangible for brands in a really natural way.”

The studio launch comes as Snap has ramped up its AR capabilities and products for brands. Earlier this year, Snap partnered with WPP to help brands build AR-based experiences, with a focus on e-commerce.

Snap launched its AR lenses in 2015. Use has surged, with more than 200 million people engaging with AR on Snapchat daily. The number of Snapchat users engaging with AR daily grew more than 40% year over year in Q1, outpacing the platform’s daily active user growth by more than 80%. 

According to the company, a recent AR beta program with over 30 brands revealed that Snapchat users tried on products using AR lenses more than 250 million times, and were 2.4 times more likely to purchase those items. Research from Snap projects that in 2025, the number of Gen Zers that use AR before buying will increase by 37% in the U.S. 

A recent study by Snap and Deloitte also revealed that 94% of people expect to use AR for shopping the same or more in 2022 compared to 2021. 

Snap and Shake Shack unveiled an AR experience for marketers on Monday to kick off Advertising Week New York, where conference attendees can access an AR try-on mirror, a shoppable AR store, a storefront mural, a lifesize statue of a crinkle cut fry and custom lenses. 

The branded experience is meant to bring greater visibility and business to Shake Shack Hudson Yards.

Snap was not immediately available for comment. 

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