European luxury goods company Dior is one of the first fashion brands to create an augmented reality (AR) filter for image-sharing app Instagram. The AR experience lets smartphone users try on virtual versions of its DiorSoLight sunglasses or double headbands marked "Christian Dior J’Adior," per WWD.
The AR filter also has abstract motifs from the fashion brand’s spring 2019 collection that show up as an animated kaleidoscope background in a selfie. Dior worked with Instagram and creative content studio The Mill to create the AR filter.
Dior debuted the filter on February 26, the day of the Dior fall 2019 show in Paris. The filter generated more than 2.6 million impressions in the following week. More than 2.2 million Instagram users saw the filter in Dior’s Instagram Stories or in the accounts of influencers such as models Karlie Kloss and Natalia Vodianova. About 450,000 Instagram users tried out the filter directly, per WWD.
AR filters, which gained popularity on Snapchat, are still relatively new to Instagram, but the Dior activation points to how the size of the platform is likely to be attractive to big brands looking to drive engagement through interactive and immersive tech. Dior is among the brands that have boosted their presence on Facebook-owned Instagram, whose focus on sharing images and videos has made the platform a key part of discovering the latest fashions. More than 56% of Instagram users said they get their fashion inspiration from the app, a bigger audience percentage than for media channels such as Pinterest (53%), TV (48%), Facebook (46%), fashion magazines (36%) and Snapchat (26%), per a survey commissioned by Facebook IQ in 2017. Dior's AR filter deepened the engagement between the brand and smartphone users who either looked at Dior’s Instagram Stories or tested out the filter themselves. That kind of image-sharing among Instagram users helps campaigns to go viral and broaden their impact. Instagram users had to either follow Dior’s account or visit their profile page to access the filter.
Dior has experimented with AR in the past, including a face filter on Facebook last August that showed off its DiorColorQuake sunglasses as part of the fall/winter collection. Dior last year also partnered with Meitu, the developer of the Chinese selfie photo enhancement app BeautyCam, to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a brand-themed user interface that triggered 2.5 million clicks among 250 million audience members, per an announcement.
While cosmetics companies have been major adopters of AR to show off their products, fashion brands also have dabbled with the technology to let smartphone users virtually try on clothing and accessories. Warby Parker, the direct-to-consumer (DTC) retailer of prescription glasses, last month introduced a virtual try-on tool in its iPhone app that lets shoppers pick frames and see how they look with an AR overlay. Sports brand Adidas in December partnered with Snapchat for a lens that let mobile users virtually try on a new running shoe using AR and a smartphone. Designer Michael Kors ran an AR ad campaign on Facebook in 2018 that let shoppers virtually try on a pair of sunglasses and buy them without ever leaving the app, further reducing friction in the buying process. Fast-fashion retailer Zara last year launched a mobile AR tool that let in-store shoppers view virtual images of models wearing different items from nearby displays, and guided them through buying the selected merchandise through the app.