Slam dunk commerce: Jordan Brand and R/GA debut Snapchat augmented reality-shopping experience

A/R Jordan took off on NBA All-Star Weekend in a Snapchat Lens experience with R/GA, Darkstore and Shopify / Hunter Johnson via Unsplash

R/GA has created a Snapchat experience for Jordan Brand’s 30th anniversary on NBA All-Star Weekend, with the help of Darkstore and Shopify.

The experience, which celebrated the 30th anniversary of Michael Jordan’s All-Star Slam Dunk Contest dunk from the free-throw line, allows fans at the 2018 NBA All-Star game to relieve that moment on their smartphones. It also gave a few attendees early access to the latest sneaker release. According to R/GA, it was the first time a sneaker had been sold directly and delivered within hours.

In Los Angeles, consumers discovered a 3D, augmented reality 'A/R Jordan' Snapchat Lens. When activated, the lens featured Jordan taking off for his now-famous dunk, where he leapt from the free-throw line.

The lens was only available on the Sunday afternoon (before the official All-Star Game), at three locations: Staples Center, entertainment venue LA Live, and Footaction outpost 23 Black. Users of the app, on location and globally through a special Jordan Brand Snapcode, could physically walk around Jordan to experience the dunk from all angles.

Jordan Brand in partnership with Snapchat, Darkstore, Shopify, and R/GA also enabled consumers to scan special Snapcodes to unlock an e-commerce experience that provided exclusive pre-release access to purchase the AJ III Tinker, named after the designer of the original Jordan sneakers, with same-day delivery.

The average time engaged for a sponsored Snapchat lens on a national level is 15-20 seconds - users reportedly spent four times longer on the lens for Jordan.

A spokeswoman from Snap, added: "Our community has come to see the Snapchat camera not just something that captures photos and videos, but also a discovery tool for new experiences. Through this partnership, the camera became an augmented reality playground as well as the mechanism to unlock the e-commerce experience."

This also marked the first time Snapchat worked with a third party to leverage the Snapchat commerce experience, which was made available on February 1 with the launch of the platform’s own Snap Store.

Darkstore, on of the two additional partners was introduced to Jordan Brand via R/GA—the startup was a participant in the agency’s Connected Commerce Accelerator in 2016. R/GA also has accelerators in IoT, Retail, Hospitality, and other areas. Earlier this year, they relaunched their partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers as the Global Sports Venture Studio.

Ben Williams, vice president and executive creative director from R/GA’s Portland office said of the experience, “The results have been nothing short of phenomenal. The product drop was sold out within minutes and we’re seeing the engagement stats for the AR experience exceeding the average Snapchat engagement metrics by a long way. In terms of what this means for Snapchat and brands in general, I believe this world first has shown the capabilities of Snapchat beyond the camera/lens experience and has hopefully showcased the ability for the physical world to be a canvas for future commerce experiences.”

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