L'Oreal Snap Camera Lens

L’Oréal is leaning into augmented reality during the coronavirus.

The company is partnering with Snap Camera, a Snap Inc. desktop application that allows users to try on Snapchat Lenses in conference calls, Twitch live-streams, Skype, YouTube and other video platforms. L’Oréal will soon roll out eight branded Lenses for Garnier, Lancôme, L’Oréal Paris and Maybelline, making it the first beauty company to work with Snap Camera. L’Oréal’s lenses will live within a newly dedicated beauty tile located on Snap Camera’s opening page.

“We know that Snap users are using technology to forge new meanings of self-expression, and we believe that self-expression is the definition of beauty,” said Gretchen Saegh-Fleming, chief marketing officer of L’Oréal USA. “Augmented reality capabilities give people new and fun ways to experience our products and be immersed in our brands, especially right now, from home.”

L'Oreal Snap Camera Lens Maybelline

The Maybelline Lens from L’Oréal’s partnership with Snap Camera.  Courtesy of L'Oréal

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Since people began sheltering at home due to the coronavirus, Snap Inc. has seen daily downloads of its Snap Camera feature increase by more than 30 times. Snapchat’s daily active user base grew by 20 percent — or 39 million users — year-over-year in the first quarter of 2020, according to the company. On average, more than 4 billion Snaps were created each day in the first quarter of 2020.

About 80 percent of Snapchat users are over the age of 18, and more than 75 percent of the company’s 229 million daily users engage with augmented reality daily, said Carolina Arguelles, Snap Inc.’s head of global AR product marketing, in a recent company webinar. Users are playing with Lenses 80 percent more each day this year than last, said Arguelles, noting that users play with Lenses nearly 30 times a day.

Brands using Snap Camera have experienced an 18 percent increase in sponsored Lens playtime and a 22 percent increase in sponsored Lens swipe-up rate since COVID-19 began, according to Arguelles.

We’ve had tens of thousands of AR campaigns under our belt that at this point, we’re not understanding if it works, it’s how best does it work for each brand,” Arguelles said. “It’s more optimization than it is validation. But for sure, coronavirus has lent a new pressure, to some extent, for beauty brands to make sure they feel they’re leaning in, that they have tools that can help guide them through challenging experiences like this one. This situation might drive some additional investment in AR, but that investment is going to pay off for these brands well down the line. It’s not just temporary.

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