As heritage luxury beauty brands increasingly seek out ways to reach Gen Z digitally, the demo is embracing its AR filters for uses beyond public sharing.
Parfums Christian Dior, for example, has introduced Instagram and Snapchat filters for multiple campaigns in the past year, including most recently its Miss Dior fragrance campaign in September. While filters have long focused on public-facing user-generated content, the Snapchat effect and Gen Z’s communication habits have also made them valuable for private sharing.
“Filters are more and more used at a very personal level, and people don’t necessarily leave a footprint which is public; they use the filters or the stickers to create something to share with friends,” said Laurent Francois, managing partner of digital marketing firm 180 Luxe, which has created multiple Dior filters including for the recent Miss Dior campaign and one for Dior Rouge lipstick. These filters help brands achieve “visual word of mouth,” he said.
For the most recent campaign, the brand worked with a Germany-based 3D artist to create a blooming flowers filter animation that’s activated with music when the user smiles. The filter was promoted by celebrities and influencers, receiving 1.3 million impressions. According to Marie Lastes, 360 digital and innovation manager at Parfums Christian Dior, the brand is focused on embracing “innovative, never-seen-before formats.”
Users “really use the filter when they call their friends on Instagram,” said Francois, referring to private messages and calls through the app. He estimated that around 100,000 users incorporated the Miss Dior selfie filter in private video calls on Instagram since it launched in the beginning of September.
A campaign “has to adapt to the new behavior” on social platforms, he said. “Every time there is a new feature, it tends to endeavor a new behavior.”
Instagram launched video chat back in 2018. It has been ramping up its private messaging features over the course of several years as Facebook has aimed for its messaging services to be used in the U.S. as ubiquitously as WeChat in China. As part of Facebook’s overall push to encourage the use of Messenger, in September 2020, it gave Messenger users the ability to DM Instagram users and vice versa. It also added 10 new features on Instagram’s messaging feature including selfie stickers, the Snapchat-inspired vanish mode and a feature allowing users to watch videos together while on a video call.
The use of filters for private calls on Instagram is “a behavior that we’ve spotted a couple of weeks ago,” said Francois. While Snapchat has long been the go-to for Gen Z users to DM each other, “the Facebook galaxy is really pushing for private conversations to happen on Instagram,” he said. “You really have people that organize their calls through Instagram directly — not on Messenger, not on WhatsApp.” The audience engaging in this behavior is “pretty young,” he said. “[They] use the filter as a playful thing to do while you talk to your friends.”
In addition to Snapchat and Instagram, the Dior campaign also incorporated a Google Lens aspect, allowing users to photograph the fragrance bottle through Google to access the campaign online.
“The new capabilities on Instagram and Snapchat, as well as the very advanced features we have access to thanks to our partners like Google, have helped us to build an augmented experience for our communities worldwide,” said Lastes. “It’s a way to leverage and track impactful, best-in-class technologies while finessing our innovation roadmap for the coming months.”