You Can Now Scan the Ralph Lauren Logo With Snapchat to Unlock a Bunch of Augmented Reality Features
Earlier this year, Ralph Lauren partnered with Snap Inc., makers of Snapchat, to offer virtual Ralph Lauren clothing for users' Bitmoji avatars inside the app. Now, the two brands are bringing their partnership out of the app and into the real world. Or maybe vice versa. You'll see in a moment.
As part of a promotion that began last week, Snapchat users can now scan the Ralph Lauren logo on the front of an actual shirt (or anywhere else it appears). Doing so will unlock an in-app augmented reality experience that includes a Ralph Lauren branded lens featuring virtual holiday gift boxes users can interact with and send to friends. The boxes also display animated versions of the Ralph Lauren logo.
Here's a video of it in action:
The lens will update throughout the year to remain thematically appropriate for the season, allowing the promotion to continue well after the holidays.
“Our goal is to find the appropriate technologies to enable us to bring what we are, what we are unique at doing, to life in new ways,” said David Lauren, chief innovation and branding officer at Ralph Lauren, according to The Wall Street Journal.
If the interactive features seem underwhelming, consider the response Ralph Lauren got on its first digital campaign with Snapchat, which was essentially just virtual dress-up. WSJ reported that more than 10 million users engaged with the virtual Ralph Lauren clothing for their Bitmojis, trying on some 250 million pieces of digital apparel from the collection.
Those are some insane engagement numbers. And the new campaign, part of an ongoing partnership between Ralph Lauren and Snap Inc., will look to build on them by cashing in on the iconic status of the Ralph Lauren logo. The instantly recognizable "polo pony" is an integral part of Ralph Lauren's branding strategy, remaining front and center (left-chest) on its shirts since 1977. This campaign cashes in on that recognition by putting the focus squarely on the logo, something promotional products professionals should appreciate.
Snapchat has been active in pursuing branded partnership opportunities similar to this one. Among other efforts, it has teamed up with KFC to bring a Colonel Sanders pool float to life and worked with two major beverage companies on an interactive packaging promo.
We can expect to see more of this kind of thing moving forward—and not just from Snapchat. Marketers are getting better and more creative at incorporating digital features into physical products (such as Chipotle with its QR-activated voter registration T-shirts). And Teespring, rapidly becoming a major player in the branded merchandise space, recently launched an entire suite of "digital merchandise"—including branded image filters for social media—available to online content creators.
It may seem incongruous that Ralph Lauren, a "preppy" fashion brand that hasn't changed its primary logo in 50 years, is the torchbearer in fusing digital and physical products. But the brand is light years ahead of the competition in this regard. (Check out its new virtual experience that lets shoppers "inside" iconic store locations using their smartphones.) The more brands that follow—and the more that find ways to do so using logos and other physical branding—the better for promo.