Defiant Digital

Defiant Digital

What are AR Filters & how can your brand use them?

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

At Defiant, we make it our mission to always be on the forefront of the latest trends in the digital marketing world. We are constantly searching through articles, blogs and online groups for the newest developments that we can use to help keep our clients ahead of the curve. 

After all, in an industry that is constantly adapting and evolving, it’s not enough to stay up to date – you have to be anticipating and preparing for social media shifts before they happen. Otherwise you will end up alongside BlockBuster, Kodak and other companies that suffered due to their failure to innovate and keep up with the latest technology. 

The brands that have been on the forefront of utilising social media in their marketing campaigns are able to establish themselves as leaders in the industry. 

Take Chipotle, for example, who were one of the first major businesses to cultivate a TikTok presence. They hopped on board the TikTok challenges trend, and their first one, #ChipotleLidFlip, generated over 240 million views on their platform. Their second challenge, #GuacDance, spawned 430 million video starts in just six days. 

The fitness giant Gymshark have harnessed the power of influencers and have become one of the most visible fitness brands on the planet, with close to 10 million followers across their Instagram accounts. This engagement doesn’t just translate to social media success- Gymshark experienced a $73 million rise in turnover for the year ending July 2019. 

So as you can see, it pays to be the first ones through the door. That’s why we are excited to report on the latest trend that your business can utilise to build a stronger social media presences and drive conversions. Instagram’s AR Filters.


What are AR Filters?

First off, what exactly is an AR Filter? Augmented Reality is an interactive experience where the real-world environment is enhanced by computer-generated images. 

AR Filters are no different, they alter what the camera sees, either on selfie or regular mode. These can be as simple as adding freckles to your cheeks, to as complex as transporting you to a beach in Hawaii. 

These filters were first introduced by Snapchat in 2015 and are now a staple in the social media lexicon. The puppy face, the flower crown, the dancing hotdog- the filters quickly became Snapchat’s most popular function. Instagram jumped on board in 2017, however following the launch of Facebook’s Spark AR Studio in August 2019, these filters have found new momentum. 

While once used ‘just for fun’, they are now a powerful and innovative marketing tool. 

Why use AR Filters?

There is unlimited potential for businesses to use these filters are part of their marketing strategy.  

AR filters allow customers to “try on” products before making a purchase. This feature could be useful in an endless number of industries; from beauty to furniture to fashion. Imagine “trying on” a lipstick colour before you make a purchase or getting a clear idea of what an armchair would look like in your bedroom before you take it home. It is a great way to launch a new product, increase awareness around something that isn’t selling as you’d hoped, or even showcase a bestseller. 

Far and away, the most valuable benefit of AR filters is the brand awareness and engagement it can generate for your business. 

AR filters, by their nature, are incredibly shareable. Once someone posts an Instagram story using your AR filter, their followers can easily access it for themselves, interacting with your brand and page. The filters can be designed to capitalise on this shareability; just like all marketing, the creative drives it home. 

What are different types of AR filters?

You can create virtually anything using Spark AR, however there are 4 main categories filters can be classified into:


These are the filters that can manipulate your physical appearance, from changing your eye colour to adding a moustache. Alternatively, these selfie filters can be used to feature a product, such as a hat or sunglasses. We recently created a filter for Australian designer Camilla, allowing individuals to “try-on” one of their signature headbands. 

Check out the Camilla AR case study here

Virtual Objects

AR Filters can also be used to add virtual objects in your surroundings, allowing you to “view” the object in real-life. Coca-Cola Poland created a Christmas themed filter which allowed followers to view their brand mascot, a Polar bear, holding a Coke bottle and dancing around their living room. This was a hugely successful campaign for the brand, with thousands of followers posting photos posing with the bear. 


To launch their new ice-cream flavour in 2017, Ben and Jerry’s created a highly interactive AR game, where followers tried to ‘catch’ marshmallows in their mouth. Last year, a heap of brands jumped on this gaming trend, creating “What __ Are You?” filters. 

McDonalds, Burger King and TacoBell all created filters where followers used a random generator to be assigned a menu item. Sports and fitness brands have implemented a similar concept, suggesting workouts and exercises to their followers. Game filters are more complex but are super entertaining and very shareable.


These filters allow the user’s entire surroundings to be transformed. Adidas were one of the first brands to work with Instagram on this feature, and they were able to transform their user’s entire setting into an Adidas store. The possibilities with this feature are endless, and it can be used in virtually any industry. 

Want to see how AR filters work? Click here to experience the 4 main types of filters listed above

The reach of AR filters

More than 500 million accounts use Stories every day. Our AR specialist has created filters with anywhere from 12 million to over 2 billion impressions. According to Instagram, 1/3 of the most viewed Stories are businesses and more than 200 million users visit at least one business account a day. Instagram can track a filter’s impressions, captures and shares and these metrics can be analysed to track engagement and awareness. 

While AR Filters are certainly not a brand-new invention, they are definitely in their infant stages. Brands are starting to catch-on, but they are yet to become commonplace and are still considered a fresh, innovative marketing tool. 

The market for AR technology is growing, with projections for 2023 valuing it at over 18 billion U.S. dollars. 

Time to strike while the iron is hot. Get in touch today and we’ll show you how it can work for your brand

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