Camera IQ Helps Brands Leverage AR on TikTok

Camera IQ, an AR creation tool, launched support this week for brands using AR on TikTok. Camera IQ is already helping brands and publishers such as Cartoon Network and Smashbox creative native AR experiences on TikTok to captivate users and create shareable social experiences.

I connected with Allison Ferenci, CEO of Camera IQ, to discuss AR’s marketing potential on one of the leading short-form mobile video platforms.

How are brands and publishers experimenting with AR effects on TikTok? 

There are a multitude of ways that brands and publishers are experimenting with AR effects on Tiktok — from ways of letting consumers express their individuality and personalities to ways of tapping into current trends and viral moments. AR is a great storytelling medium in which everyone is a creator and co-author of the story.

The TikTok community doesn’t just consume media but plays a role in riffing and remixing it. If brands can give consumers the tools to co-create content that enhances and amplifies their stories, that’s the key to a winning strategy. It’s still very much the early days of experimentation on TikTok, so it’s exciting to see all of the great AR effects that are being created now.

How does this next wave of AR experimentation move beyond the sorts of Snapchat effects that widely familiarized consumers with AR?

The next wave of AR experimentation is becoming way more technically sophisticated. The experiences being built today are more immersive and engaging than in the early days, giving them more of the “wow” factor than ever before.

But even beyond that, marketers are becoming more sophisticated about how to use AR to give consumers experiences that are deeper and more meaningful — much more so than the “puking rainbows” or “dog ears” effects that people first associated AR with. By enabling more customization and personalization than ever before, today’s AR experiences offer more room for creativity and self-expression.

AR experiences aren’t just an overlay to a story post but a more immersive and central part of their story, where consumers are playing with the effect. This was evident when consumers create dances to go along with a character, or when they play around with a brand’s audio, as Cartoon Network is achieving on TikTok.

Why should brands dive into AR? 

AR is a gateway to the metaverse, and the metaverse represents the biggest opportunity for brands and marketers since the advent of the internet itself. The metaverse enables brands to create rich, interactive, immersive experiences that connect with consumers in powerful ways. It also enables brands to affect the entire customer journey in a streamlined, holistic way.

Not only does it allow brands to amplify their message and reach new audiences, but they can also allow consumers to dig deeper, learn more, and ultimately make purchases — all in a single, cohesive experience. A survey we conducted recently showed that 76% of consumers have already used AR in one form or another, and most of those who haven’t tried it yet expect to do so in the near future, so we are well past the point of mass adoption. So, another reason brands should dive into AR is that their customers are already there! 

Brands diving into AR successfully are seeing it as a key component to their marketing strategy and as a way to drive engagement. It increases time spent with their audiences and allows them to experience a product before ever trying it on. AR also has the ability to unlock a more aggressive UGC strategy that drives brands’ audiences to share and repost experiences in a more organic way.

Where should advertisers focus their AR efforts in addition to social platforms?

Most of the innovation in AR right now is happening on social platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook, but those aren’t the only places. With the growth of web conferencing systems like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, AR is becoming increasingly important there as well, and of course, the open web, where brands can incorporate AR into their own websites. We also believe that it’s worth keeping an eye on AR-enabled glasses and eyewear, as we’re seeing a lot of innovation happening very rapidly in that space as well.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015 and regularly consults with companies in the space on content and communications. You can contact him at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.