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First-Of-Its-Kind Snapchat Lens Embraces Heritage & Culture

Explore a multi-level AR experience and learn the origins of culturally-relevant superheroes.

Ally Financial has partnered with R/GA to launch a Snapchat AR (augmented reality) experience in collaboration with DC and WarnerMedia called ‘Milestone Archives.’ Unlike other Snapchat filters that place AR content in front of you, this first-of-its-kind Lens immerses you in a 360-degree experience that embraces heritage and culture by highlighting Black and diverse superheroes brought to life by Black creators and other artists of color. 

The moment you launch the Milestone Archives experience you are immersed in a multi-level gallery space featuring different heroes of the Milestone Media universe. Here you learn about their origins, powers, and how they protect the people around them. 

This includes Virgil Hawkins, a seemingly ordinary regular teenager who uses his extraordinary electromagnetic powers to protect the citizens of Dakota City under the name of Static. Other superheroes you’ll discover are Hardware, Icon, and Rocket.

To move around the multi-level experience you swipe your finger on your smartphone up or down to access the different levels. From there you just physically move your body or your phone to look around in all directions at the different pieces of art, each of which is brought to life through narration. 

Along with the backstories of each superhero, the Snapchat experience includes interactive games centered around each hero. You can even step into the shoes of the character and share your superhero self with friends through Snapchat or download to share on other social media apps or text.

Led by R/GA Group Executive Creative Director Andrezza Valentin, the creative team of art directors, copywriters, 3D artists, and animators behind the Milestone Archives worked with multi-reality studio plai to design, build, and launch the experience on Snapchat.

As impressive as the AR Milestone Archive experience is, it’s the message behind the experience that’s most important. Milestone Media is focused on empowering the Black community through storytelling by creating a platform for diverse artists and writers to bring their own voices and perspectives to comic books. 

The three individuals behind Milestone Media—Regional Hudlin, Denys Cowan, and Derek T. Dingle— share an impressive work history. President of Entertainment of B.E.T. Network (Hudlin), Senior Vice President of Motown Animation, and Filmworks (Cowan), and BLACK ENTERPRISE chief White House correspondent (Dingle). Bringing all of that experience and focus into their company helped define the direction of how Milestone Media would tell stories and work alongside artists and storytellers.

That same approach was vital for how the Milestone Archives experience works as an AR filter on Snapchat. The Lens is more than a simple superhero experience. It was about highlighting and embracing the importance of culture, heritage, and diversity through powerful storytelling using AR.

Check out the Milestone Archive experience using the Snapcode in the article. Hit the links for more information on Milestone Media, Ally Financial, R/GA, DC, and WarnerMedia.

Image Credit: Snap Inc.

About the Scout

Kyle Melnick

Kyle is a writer for VRScout also working in new media production. He's also a part-time bounty hunter.

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