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Snapchat’s programmatic augmented reality ads are gaining traction

May 15, 2018 / Ilyse Liffreing

In November, BMW was the first to test Snapchat’s Snap Ad to AR augmented reality ad unit — a form of a Snap ad where people swipe up on a video or image to trigger a related branded lens. BMW used it to launch its BMW X2, making it so a 3D version of the car appeared in a lens so people could walk around it as if in a typical showroom. It was the first AR ad unit advertisers could buy programmatically on Snapchat. Six months later, more than 100 advertisers have run those ad units, according to Snapchat, including the likes of Foot Locker, Nike, and currently, Hershey’s. In its first-quarter earnings, Snapchat chief strategy officer Imran Khan said 95 percent of Snap ads (excluding Story Ads) are now bought programmatically. There are a number of reasons why advertisers might be drawn to the Snap Ad to AR ads. One is cost. Snapchat’s Snap Ad to AR ads are much cheaper than Snapchat’s lenses, even though they themselves contain lenses. Snapchat’s pro...