The Challenge

Snapchat is an industry leader in augmented reality technology. So it comes as no surprise that they wanted to be known for more than simply ‘putting dog faces onto teenagers’. Snapchat wanted to educate its audience on its impressive AR capability and build credibility as a serious marketing platform.

The Approach

Snapchat would enter a more grown-up space and use its AR capability to unlock something beautiful, magical, and educational. As a new £20 note was due to enter circulation in the UK, we partnered with the Bank of England and The National Gallery to place Snapchat’s AR functionality at the centre of the launch. Not only did we want to be part of a ‘first look’ moment, but we also wanted to use Snapchat’s leading technology to heighten that moment in a way that would gain attention across the world.

The Solution

An AR-enabled banknote! Snapchat created an AR lens that would activate any new £20 note and animate the artwork to bring to life a portrait of JMW Turner and a beautiful full-colour image of his famous painting, The Fighting Temeraire. The viewer would then be given a link to learn more about this prolific artist.

To guarantee a spread of coverage in regional media, we pre-pitched the story under embargo with wider outreach to news, picture desks, and PF writers for online coverage.

To capture attention and encourage people to try out the technology, we captured our own imagery of the AR lens in action as a £20 note was snapped. We also placed Ed Couchman, Snapchat’s GM, in an ITV feature at The National Gallery, where an AR-enabled sat beside the real Turner painting.



users tried the lens



pieces of coverage


of coverage included a Snapcode