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L’Oréal USA teamed up with Snap Inc. to release eight custom-branded augmented reality lenses

With usage of its Snap Camera webcam add-on rising amid the COVID-19 lockdowns, Snapchat's working with a range of brands on new, integrated AR campaigns within the tool.

The latest initiative comes from beauty brand L’Oréal​, which has launched a new Snap Camera integration that enables users to virtually try-on different looks on screen.

As explained by L’Oréal:

"L’Oréal USA has released eight custom-branded augmented reality lenses for the Snap Camera desktop platform, in a first-of-its-kind partnership between the beauty leader and Snap Inc. The L’Oréal USA branded lenses will be featured on Snap Camera for one week in a dedicated “beauty” area on the platform’s opening page."

As you can see from the above image, the L’Oréal lenses simulate a variety of different beauty offerings from L’Oréal brands, including Garnier, Lancôme, L’Oréal Paris, and Maybelline. Users will be able to virtually try on make-up, hair colors and more via the digital effects.

It's the second major brand push via the Snap Camera since the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdowns, which have seen downloads of the Snap Camera app jump 30x as people look for ways to liven up their virtual meetings. 

Earlier in the month, Snapchat worked with Universal on its promotion of animated film 'Trolls World Tour', which included the incorporation of Trolls AR masks into the Snap Camera.

Given the rising usage of the add-on, it makes sense for brands to look to tap into the trend, and ideally, gain a viral boost through sharing of the digital enhancements.

But in the case of L’Oréal, that could actually extend further - while you can use the Snap Camera features within virtual meetings, you can also use them by yourself, with your own image displayed on your PC screen. That could make it a great platform for helping people to try on new make-up and different looks while they're not able to visit physical stores.

It's worth noting, too, that over 75% of Snapchat's daily active users now engage with AR-based content every day. The COVID-19 lockdowns have provided more time for users to check out new AR elements, and see how they work, which could then lead to broader habitual shifts in how people look to engage with brand content moving forward. 

The popularity of the Snap Camera, you would think, will be short-lived. Once the lockdowns are over, and we can go back to our regular office spaces, people will be using their webcams less, while making yourself look different on screen also loses its novelty fairly quickly for most. That could mean that campaigns of this sort won't have long-term strategic value, but they can provide an immediate benefit right now - and as noted, in the case of beauty brands, the Snap Camera could also continue to provide utility as a virtual try-on tool moving forward, using the current hype to highlight potential benefit.

The new L’Oréal Snap Camera options are available in the “Beauty” area on the camera’s main page.

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