WPP and Snapchat parent Snap Inc. have launched a global partnership they’re calling The AR Lab to help WPP clients build ecommerce-focused experiences for consumers using Augmented Reality.
The partnership combines Snap’s AR technology with WPP’s capabilities across creative, media, commerce and technology. The main idea: Enable WPP clients to better connect with their customers on the Snapchat platform and drive commerce through AR.
According to Snap, advertisers on its platforms are finding AR campaigns to be significant drivers of business, and the partnership will give WPP and its clients access to 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 and Snap will also implement a co-developed “optimization 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.
This is WPP’s latest AR venture. It has been investing in its AR capability for years. Case in point: 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, a training program centered on AR technology and products. With support from a dedicated team at Snap, the program 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,” and that the venture with Snap will help the holding company and its clients better optimize AR capabilities.
David Roter, Vice President, Global Agency Partnerships at Snap Inc., said: “Over 200 million 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.”