Starting Sunday, HBO is using Snapchat's Landmarker Lens augmented reality technology to turn New York City's landmark Flatiron building into a giant ad to mark this weekend's "Game of Thrones" season premier.
Snapchat users near the Flatiron in Gramercy Park will be able to access a Lens that transforms the building into a perch for one of the show’s famous dragons (the most terrifying, undead one). Snapchat Lenses are animated filters that activate through the camera--decorating selfies and enhancing the landscape.
The Landmarker feature was one of the new tricks that Snapchat debuted at its first partner conference last week, when it released new tools for its community of creators to build Lenses. Snapchat co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy both took the stage to announce new augmented reality technology, plans for an ad network, expanding Stories to apps outside Snapchat, and a mobile gaming service.
Snapchat’s creative partners have been given access to the Landmarker technology and allowed to design the Lenses for select edifices, including the Flatiron, the Eiffel Tower and Buckingham Palace. The filters are then made available to people in the vicinity.
Snapchat’s in-house creative team designed the “Game of Thrones” Landmarker.
As an early innovator in the space, Snapchat has been at the forefront of AR. But Facebook, Google and Apple, among others, are coming up behind. The interest in augmented reality is driven by its potential for limitless applications, like retail, design, mapping and, well, turning an entire building into a billboard,
Snapchat would not disclose the cost of the entire campaign, but a spokeswoman says the Landmarker was included in the total package as an added service.
HBO has tapped Snapchat before for “Game of Thrones” marketing before. In 2017, they built a Lens that turned people into White Walkers, the ultimate villains of the series. The two companies also just worked together on a similar augmented reality innovation simply called "marker" technology at Austin's South By Southwest.