- Warner Bros. teamed up with Snapchat to create the first voice-activated augmented reality (AR) lens as part of the promotion for superhero movie "Shazam!," per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer. Snapchat users can say, "OK, Shazam!" after opening the lens to see themselves transformed into the superhero.
- The "Shazam!" lens also can be unlocked by using Snapchat to scan a Snapcode shown on billboards, murals and posters. "Shazam!" billboards featuring the Snapcode were put on display in Times Square in New York and the corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave. in Los Angeles.
- The "Shazam!" lens will be available in more than 20 countries including the U.K., France and Mexico. "Shazam!" will debut in theaters on April 5, although Fandango offered an early showing of the movie on March 23.
The voice-activated AR lens for "Shazam!" marks Snapchat's latest innovation to its popular app feature that lets users transform their selfies with digital imagery and share them with friends, family and followers. The viral power of AR lenses enhances their promotional power, especially among teens and young adults who are the target audience for superhero movies like "Shazam!" The lens' voice activation introduces an element of novelty and makes it easier for users to activate. Plus, it's an organic extension of the film, in which a teenaged orphan turns into a superhero by saying the word "Shazam."
More than 70% of Snapchat's active users play with or view Lenses daily, or more than 130 million people on average. The company said U.S. Snapchat users visit theaters at least once a month on average. Snapchat users represent 36% of all moviegoers and 50% of all movie ticket sales in the U.S., according to a Snap-commissioned study from NRG Research Group last year.
Warner Bros. isn't alone in using AR lenses to promote its movies. Universal Pictures last month partnered with Snapchat on the first sponsored facial-recognition lenses for cats and dogs as part of the promotion for "The Secret Life of Pets 2," the animated feature that opens in theaters on June 7, per Variety. The AR filter superimposed an animated mouth on a dog or cat’s picture to create the illusion that the pet was speaking. Similarly, Saban Brands' AR mobile ad campaign for the 25th anniversary of "Power Rangers" on TV produced a click-through-rate 2.5 times higher than benchmarks by letting fans virtually try on character helmets in a selfie through a smartphone camera.