Augmented RealityFeatured

Social AR is Good for You (and your brand)

By March 8, 2019 April 28th, 2019 No Comments

Heading into SXSW 2019, Digiday says that AR is in and VR is out. They’re spot on, even though we still get a kick out of building VR and 360 Video experiences for our clients. The energy in the marketplace right now is around Augmented Reality.

As we see it, two of the biggest drivers pushing AR’s potential are:


Social Media - The barrier to entry isn't just low—it's gone. Anyone can reach in their pocket, pull out their phone and use Facebook or Snapchat now to play with an AR experience.

Image Recognition - We're not talking about facial recognition, which is the tech standard for wearing face masks and funny hats. We've built plenty of those. The game-changer is that now any image can trigger an AR experience on social media. Meaning, the opportunity for brands and entertainment properties to surprise & delight fans is bigger than ever.

These two drivers also bring us closer to achieving our goal of making every flat surface a bridge to a digital world. Technologies are exploding to unlock the power of print, out-of-home advertising, packaging, shipping boxes and more.

For By & Large’s AR demo for SXSW this year, we turned to a classic piece of bar branding—the drink coaster—into an unexpected visual treat. Full disclosure: we love Guinness.

The first step was to design the coaster. Inspired by the vintage branding of our favorite stout, we applied its nostalgic look to our own agency branding.

Next, we put our Cinema 4D hats on and created a seal that would playfully spring to life on the coaster. Then after painting and texturing the seal, we built the experience in both Facebook Spark AR and Snapchat Lens Studio. So whichever social platform you’re into, you could play along.

Now, anyone with a smartphone from 2018 or newer (all 1.56 billion of you) can access our social AR experience—and all you need is the coaster. So next time you see us, ask us for one and give it a try. Or you can watch this video and see what you’re missing.

We like to say that this is part of the future of digital marketing, but the reality is, it’s happening right now. And, as Facebook AR and Snapchat AR quickly become more integrated into their advertising infrastructures, two sides of our business—creating motion graphics content and launching social media ad campaigns—will come even closer together. Building return on ad spend and building 3D models will go hand in hand.

The future will be augmented.