Tiffany and Cartier are not the first brands to team up with Snap’s AR. Louis Vuitton just partnered with the artist Yayoi Kusama to create a filter on Snap that envelops landmarks around the world in Kusama’s trademark polka dots. Snap has already collaborated with Dior, Gucci, and Prada using virtual try-on technology.
“Brands are tapping into Snapchat’s largely Gen Z community to make the world a bit more interactive and a bit more fun,” says Geoffrey Perez, head of luxury at Snap.
The Cartier Tank watch experience uses an augmented reality filter to transport the user to the Pont Alexandre III bridge in Paris. The virtual experience lets you see four iterations of the watch from different periods over the past 106 years, and then look around the bridge and at fellow pedestrians to get a sense of that era.
Tiffany, meanwhile, uses ray tracing technology, a technology from video games, which captures the movement of light on AR objects more realistically. For a jewelry company, it means that the unique sparkle of metal and diamonds can be translated into AR. Neither Cartier nor Tiffany returned requests for comment.
Ziyou Jiang, a doctoral candidate at the University of Georgia, presented a paper at a clothing conference last year on how AR influences Gen Z. Jiang surveyed 134 people this age about whether and how AR affected their purchasing decisions. She found that two things made them want to buy a product after encountering it in AR: interactivity and virtual experiences.
The Cartier time-travel experience is an example of interactivity. Jiang says Gen Z doesn’t necessarily want to be shown a product in an advertisement but to see how it fits into a larger story or movement, something AR is uniquely positioned to do.