- Gucci Beauty is promoting its Bloom Profumo di Fiori fragrance with an augmented reality (AR) experience that invites users of photo-messaging app Snapchat to step into a virtual "garden of dreams," according to an announcement shared with sister publication Mobile Marketer.
- After walking through a "portal lens" in the app, Snapchat users can search through the AR garden to find all five Bloom fragrances among a maze of bushes, flowers and gold dust. Traveling along thorny paths and past flowing fountains and showers of rose petals, visitors to the virtual garden can unlock hidden extras.
- The experience, available for a limited time in the Snapchat carousel that features a selection of AR lenses, steers users to visit the luxury brand's website where they can purchase Gucci Bloom fragrances directly.
Gucci Beauty wants to engage Snapchat users with a branded experience inspired by its Bloom fragrance by letting them hold up their smartphones and step through a virtual portal into a dreamy, computer-generated landscape. The immersive AR experience gamifies the process of learning more about the product as people search the virtual garden for the fragrance, and underscores the theme of "imagination, freedom and identity" that Gucci seeks to convey — though people still can't smell the fragrance before making a purchase online. With many consumers avoiding stores during the pandemic, virtual experiences like this are a creative way to connect with shoppers as they browse gifts during the holiday season.
The luxury brand's AR experience for Bloom marks the second time it has sponsored a portal lens on Snapchat, a sign that Gucci's efforts on the app could be paying off. During last year's holiday season, Gucci sponsored the first luxury fashion portal lens, giving Snapchat users the illusion of stepping through a computer-generated door to visit a psychedelic tropical island that showed virtual handbags and accessories from the brand. Gucci wasn't alone in sponsoring a portal lens, as department store chain Kohl's and toy retailer Toys R Us Canada also asked Snapchat users to explore virtual stores that featured their latest wares.
Gucci has embraced Snapchat's AR technology in various ways to connect with younger consumers. Last summer, Gucci was the first sponsor of a branded AR shoe try-on in the photo-messaging app. Mobile users could see digital versions of the shoes overlaid on their feet before tapping on a "shop now" button to buy them directly.
Product demonstrations have considered one of the most promising applications for AR technology, giving marketers a way to provide an engaging experience for consumers, regardless of whether they're on the go or stuck at home. Before the pandemic, retailers were forecast to spend $1.5 billion this year on AR and virtual reality (VR) to improve the customer experience, researcher International Data Corp. estimated in November 2019. More retailers and brands are likely to create AR/VR experiences as consumers shift their buying to online and those shopping habits outlive the pandemic.
AR experiences are helping parent company Snap drive advertising revenue as marketers use them to engage homebound folks. An average of more than 180 million Snapchat users played with AR content each day in the second quarter, or about 75% of its daily users, according to information Snap previously shared with Mobile Marketer. The company recently touted the strength of AR experiences as a key source of revenue, which jumped 52% to $678.7 million in the third quarter from a year earlier, the fastest growth the Snapchat owner has experienced in three years.