01 December 2021 12:16

MARKETING

WPP and Snap Inc. launch Augmented Reality partnership

The AR Lab will deliver state-of-the-art marketing and commerce solutions for brands

WPP and Snap Inc., the camera company behind Snapchat, today announced a global partnership (“The AR Lab”) to help brands build and deliver immersive experiences for consumers using Augmented Reality (“AR”). With a particular focus on e-commerce, the partnership combines Snap’s leading AR technology with WPP’s integrated capabilities across creative, media, commerce and technology, allowing WPP clients to better connect with their customers on the Snapchat platform and drive meaningful business results through AR.

According to a recent study commissioned by Snap, 94% of people are expecting to use AR for shopping purposes the same as or more than 2022 versus 2021[1]. With advertisers on the Snap platform finding AR campaigns to be significant drivers of business, the partnership will give WPP and its clients access to and mastery of Snap’s AR technology end-to-end, including creative production and measurement.

As Snap’s inaugural Agency AR partner, WPP will collaborate with Snap on new products and technology, such as the recently launched Snapchat Trends tool, which allows teams to use proprietary insights and data to inform creative and campaign development. WPP will also gain access to a custom AR Lab Strategy Guide, which includes best practices to inform creative development using Snap’s AR technology while ensuring that branded AR experiences can be brought to market faster and more easily than ever before.

In addition, WPP and Snap will implement a co-developed custom optimisation scorecard for WPP clients, which will be used to generate more effective campaigns. WPP and Snap’s methodology will provide insights into the performance of these campaigns, allowing teams to measure success and adapt in real-time.

WPP was an early adopter of AR technologies and has led the market by investing in its AR capability and partner ecosystem. GroupM, WPP’s media buying arm, has doubled its 2021 social AR investment in the last year and continues to pave the way for AR and commerce media activations.

The partnership will further develop WPP’s AR capability through a structured learning and development curriculum via the AR Lab Academy, an industry-first training programme centred on AR technology and products. With support from a dedicated team at Snap, the programme aims to certify a minimum of one thousand WPP employees by the end of this year. In addition, Snap will sponsor a quarterly AR production competition for WPP clients. The competition will focus on clients in key markets, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, the United Kingdom and the United States, and for the most innovative AR experiences, Snap will provide funding to bring the winning campaigns to life on Snapchat at scale.

Sanja Partalo, Executive Vice President, Strategic Development & Partnerships at WPP, said: “AR has a major role to play in the future of marketing and commerce, from virtual try-on to immersive digital experiences. Snap has built an impressive AR platform and we are delighted to partner with them to ensure our people can access Snap’s latest AR technology and in turn develop richer, more innovative commerce solutions for our clients and their customers.”

David Roter, Vice President, Global Agency Partnerships at Snap Inc., said: “Over 200m Snapchatters engage with AR every day. This partnership will help brands reach that community through the camera in ways that are engaging, impactful and drive real business results. We are thrilled to debut this initiative with WPP and look forward to driving this important frontier in marketing and commerce together with their clients around the globe.”

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