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Maximizing Augmented Reality: Helping Charities Create Meaningful Connections

Simon Jenkins, Snapchat’s Creative Strategy Lead for the EMEA region, explores the opportunities available through augmented reality.

Simon Jenkins

Creative Strategy Lead for the EMEA region, Snapchat

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From placing furniture in your living room to trying on the latest pair of Sneakers, augmented reality (AR) has evolved far beyond its early days of entertainment and self-expression. Today, it offers true utility to both consumers and businesses, delivering high attention and action among a previously hard-to-even-reach audience at a cost that is accessible to the third sector. Charities and non-profit organizations are empowering their customers to enhance the physical world around them and are henceforth driving personal, immersive, engaging, and easily shareable experiences easily accessed through a phone.

AR has allowed charities to create augmented experiences for their current and prospective supporters that bring their mission to life and drive action. This allows nonprofits — many of which have smaller marketing budgets than larger commercial brands — to develop a personalized way for their target audiences to experience their mission while also driving results.

AR has allowed charities to create augmented experiences for their current and prospective supporters that bring their mission to life and drive action

Simon Jenkins, Creative Strategy Lead for the EMEA region, Snapchat

A recent study by Alteragents showed that AR offers significantly more immersion and deeper audience engagement than traditional advertising which is ideal for charitable organizations that want to drive both awareness and action.

Savvy strategy in the charitable sector

At Snapchat, we first started offering AR to brands back in 2015 and have since worked with a number of charities to develop immersive and engaging AR campaigns that support their mission and drive results. Here are three recent examples:

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Eager to drive awareness around the issue of elephant poaching, the organization leveraged Snapchat’s AR technology to deliver a powerful message: What if augmented reality is the only chance we’ll ever get to see the African elephant? The AR Lens allowed Snapchatters to learn about elephants and the threats to them and also welcome a 3d version into the space around them. The successful campaign went on to reach 2.8 million Snapchatters and exceeded its marketing goals.

Augmented reality easily allows consumers to see, and understand, a potential scenario and as such has become the bridge between our imagination and the often darker reality posed by charities if action is not taken. Consider the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and Snapchat’s collaboration in December 2021 on a campaign that answered this very question: What if we could see the beauty of the reef in any body of water? 

With the AR Lens, Snapchatters were able to experience the breathtaking ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef wherever they were in the world. Using water-segmentation technology, a Snapchatter could use the Lens to augment the intricacies of the reef onto any body of water and observe turtles, clownfish, and an array of other species. This partnership raised awareness of the threats facing the reef, but also encouraged the impassioned Snapchat community to take action to protect the fragile environment and achieve the goal of planting one million coral.

In the UK, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home first partnered with Snapchat for its “Wear Blue for Rescue” campaign, which encouraged the public to champion rescue animals by wearing blue and displaying the charity’s new rescue symbol.

The AR Lens enabled Snapchatters to film themselves with their cat or dog to generate engagement and raise awareness about the importance of rescuing animals. The AR activation was hugely popular, driving a high share rate and the campaign ultimately reached 3.6million Snapchatters

The impact of immersion

Snapchat first pioneered AR experiences in 2015, initially as a way to add a fun, entertaining element to Snaps sent between friends. Since then the immersive and engaging nature of AR has not gone unnoticed by advertisers across the board — and studies have shown how this technology can help predict consumer activity and drive product recall, foretelling consumer action and memory with 80% accuracy, purchase with 84% accuracy, and increased sales with 83% accuracy.

AR is a revolutionary creative canvas that has changed the rules of engagement for the better.  As consumers crave a deeper connection with the organisations that they interact or buy from, its immersive properties help brands cut through the noise and create that deeper engagement. Whatever the end goal, from increasing awareness, creating engagement and loyalty, driving revenue, or all combined, immersion is an incredibly important and powerful jumping-off point.   

Connecting a brand's personality and message to a specific audience through targeting, or to moments in time aren't new ideas, but AR as a canvas has become a brilliantly simple way for a charity to spend time with people, have fun with them, and engage them in truly authentic and deeply immersive moments.

Guest Author

Simon Jenkins

Creative Strategy Lead for the EMEA region, Snapchat

About

Simon Jenkins has been leading Snap's Creative Strategy team for the Emerging EMEA business for the past 4 years. Simon and his team work with exciting and ambitious advertisers across EMEA to bring their campaigns to life through video and augmented reality. Prior to Snap, Simon has led teams at Media and Creative agencies across the UK and Middle East.

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