Snapchat’s 3-D augmented reality lenses are the newest marketing ploy that allows people to put virtual avatars or Bitmojis in a real-life setting. Brands like Budweiser, BMW and this month, McDonald’s have tested this AR development.
The AR lenses are not cheap — and Snapchat seems to be aggressively selling them to holding group agencies, claiming its AR technology is among the best, according to conversations with six ad buyers. How media agencies buy 3-D lenses and what they pay for them varies widely because pricing depends on factors like targeting criteria and when an AR lens goes live: One ad buyer from a major media shop said an AR lens typically costs between $500,000 and $1 million per day. This executive’s team recently paid over $700,000 for a branded 3-D lens for one day.
“Since the AR lens is a premium product, we typically support that with other types of ads on Snapchat,” said this person. “Snapchat has a rate card, but there are a million ways that advertisers can negotiate the price.”
The New York-based executive added that in the sales pitch, Snapchat’s senior leadership believes “AR is the next internet,” so a brand of the future needs to have an AR presence. “Snapchat highlights that it has superior AR tech in its sales pitch,” said this person. “Snapchat positions AR lenses as a standalone media buy — they are Snapchat’s most expensive [ad] product at the moment.”