- Snapchat is introducing branded versions of Snappables on Thursday, the social media company's augmented reality (AR) games that are played with facial gestures on a mobile device, a Snap spokesperson told VentureBeat.
- Bud Light, Dunkin' Donuts and King Digital, maker of the Candy Crush mobile game, are among the first brands to partner on sponsored Snappables. The multiplayer games are developed around a unique AR filter, and users can play with friends on separate devices.
- Separately, Snap this week started offering its Lenses ad format to marketers who use its self-serve Ad Manager dashboard. The company sells the branded AR format on a CPM basis of $8 to $20, making them comparably expensive to other kinds of mobile ad formats, per Business of Apps.
Bud Light, Dunkin' Donuts and King Digital have a history of experimenting with mobile technology and creative ad formats, and their initial sponsorships of Snappable AR games are one way to engage Snapchat's audience with their brands in a more immersive and entertaining experience than provided by traditional TV commercials or even Snapchat's own Lenses ad format.
Bud Light has previously served as a launch partner for other Snapchat features. In September, the beer brand was one of the first brands to sponsor World Lenses, with its talking beer vendor.
With the development of Snappables, which were first introduced in April, Snap is again demonstrating the importance of AR technology to its sales growth. Chief Strategy Officer Imre Kahn said during the company's Q1 2018 earnings call that the total number of AR Lenses sold had grown 16% from a year earlier, signaling a potential boon in immersive photo features on social media in the year ahead. By adding an element of gamification to the feature, Snapchat is working to compel users to stick around on the app and engage with its slew of features for longer.
Meanwhile, Snapchat has seen steady growth in its programmatic AR ads since introducing the format in November, per Digiday. More than 100 brands have run those ad units, including Foot Locker, Nike and Hershey's. The price of a Lens fell from about $500,000 to $1 million a day in December to about $40,000 a day, in addition to an agreed-upon CPM that ranges from $8 to $20, the publication reported last month.