Snap names WPP as first agency augmented reality partner

Snapchat parent company Snap has named ad giant WPP as its first agency augmented reality (AR) partner as it seeks to deliver a new generation of marketing and commerce solutions for brands.

The AR Lab will deliver immersive augmented reality experiences for brands with an emphasis on e-commerce, applying Snap’s expertise in the field with WPP’s broad capabilities across creative, media, commerce and technology.

The match will offer a friction-free solution for WPP clients looking to connect with their customers on Snapchat through a medium that is slowly gaining broader acceptance. To illustrate this, a Snap survey found 94% of Snapchat users expect to harness the medium for enhanced shopping experiences at least as much in 2022 as they did in 2021.

Under the deal, Snap will share its technology with WPP, including creative production and measurement tools, including the recently-launched Snapchat Trends and its AR Lab Strategy Guide.

Both parties will also co-develop an optimization solution to enable brands to devise more effective campaigns.

Further cementing the relationship will be the AR Lab Academy, a training program encompassing all aspects of the emerging technology and its products to certify at least 1,000 WPP employees by the end of the year.

Sanja Partalo, executive vice-president, strategic development and 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. Snap has built an impressive AR platform and we are delighted to partner with them to ensure our people can access Snap’s latest AR technology and in turn develop richer, more innovative commerce solutions for our clients and their customers.”

David Roter, vice-president, global agency partnerships at Snap Inc, added: “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. We are thrilled to debut this initiative with WPP and look forward to driving this important frontier in marketing and commerce together with their clients around the globe.”

Rounding off the alliance, Snap will sponsor a quarterly AR competition for WPP clients, with the most innovative entries realized on Snapchat.

The tie-up comes as technology giants rush to release a new generation of AR products for retail brands amid a revolution in shopping habits.