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Snap’s new AR ads are for overlaying objects onto stuff that isn’t your face

Snap had a tough earnings call last week. This could help.


Snapchat is rolling out a new augmented reality ad unit that lets marketers pay so that users can see images or words overlaid on the world around them through their phone’s camera.

It’s similar to the face-distorting filter ads that Snapchat sells, like when Taco Bell paid so that users could turn their faces into tacos. These new ads, called “Sponsored World Lenses,” are not specific to taking selfies and work with the phone’s outward-facing camera.


Warner Brothers is Snap’s first advertiser for the new unit, promoting its new upcoming movie “Everything, Everything.” Snap says Netflix and Dunkin’ Donuts will run these ads soon.

Snap argued last week on its first earnings call that the company is going to succeed through creativity and quality products, not massive scale. Launching new ad formats that marketers can’t find on other networks like Facebook or Twitter falls into that quality argument.

Snap missed Wall Street revenue estimates in its first test as a public company last week. New ad units — which theoretically means more money — can’t hurt.

Snap is also rolling out a few additional ad updates on Monday, including the ability to target the face-distorting “Lenses.” U.S. advertisers can now pay to get those lenses in front of users based on age, gender or the content they watch in Snapchat’s Discover section. Previously those ads were sold nationwide.

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