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The Best Christmas Instagram AR Effects

It’s pretty commonly accepted at this stage that Christmas, just like the Super Bowl, is a rather momentous occasion in the world of advertising. Everyone waiting to see what the big brand advertising agencies have been working on for the last year in an attempt to reduce us to warm nostalgic tears. Que some shit from the 90’s.  Well I for one am glad we are bombarded with all the ads and not just because I make them. This year we have seen a big push in augmented reality largely through the official release of Facebook and Instagram AR camera effects and I for one have been both looking forward to and planning the AR possibilities for this Christmas.

During this time of the year people tend to be actively searching for more ways to create deeper connections with others, and let’s face it, AR filters have certainly already proven their effectiveness at bringing people together with the touch of a mobile device. Christmas is also quite a busy time for charities and other non-profits. Something about the flashing lights and extra pints that gets everybody’s hands in their pockets. AR filters can be a seriously great tool to leverage an awareness campaign through Instagram and Facebook due to the increased shareability of the content they produce. There are so many different reasons to consider AR effects the perfect promotional tool for boosting any Christmas campaign this year.

It doesn’t matter if you are using Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat as your main social channel, all of these platforms are now facilitating AR camera effects and it’s clear they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Which is great news for any brands looking to add some smiles to the faces of their followers. And not just because the AR filter are that good, but because with AR you could literally add smiles onto their faces.

If you want to find out more about using AR effects, you can check out our last posting on publishing Instagram AR effects. In this article, we will look at some different Christmas campaigns that utilised social AR to help increase their campaign uptake. Hopefully this gives you some ideas of your own Christmas AR campaign. ?


Back in November at what I can only presume was the very second that Halloween ended, Starbucks released four Christmas Instagram effects which were activated when you scanned any of their limited edition Christmas cups. The aim was to bring their customers attention to their reusable cups and to promote a more eco-friendly lifestyle. This is not Starbucks first time venturing into the AR waters for a little Christmas dip. They released a Snapchat filter during the Christmas of 2016 that turned you into a load of carol singers.

Christmas Instagram AR Effects
Christmas Instagram AR Effects


Definitely a go to concept for a Christmas AR effect, M&M’s created a lens that turned the user into Santa, whilst also managing to included their product quite nicely. Cleverly the fairy lights are made out of M&M’s that light up when activated! This lens was actually created to allow to people to use it at the same time. In the case of this Snapchat lens the second user became a reindeer.

Christmas Instagram AR Effects
Christmas Instagram AR Effects


It isn’t just face filters that are dominating the AR filter game! There was a Snapchat lens that you could unlock only if you scanned McDonald’s Christmas packaging. When open a cute reindeer appeared that was dancing. This AR filter effect was linked with that popular TV spot where Santa went to Maccies to get some carrots for his reindeer. The real key to any successful campaign is the combination of AR with other forms of advertising media. It builds on and enhances any previously created connections points and ultimately it helps you to ideate an AR filter that won’t need to rely heavily on branded assets but will still generate some good marketing ROI.


An Instagram unboxing experience! This AR activation lets all you sneaker heads virtually unbox the new Gatorade AJ1’s that were released for Christmas.

The lens was pretty innovative at the time and it allowed used to check out the sneakers in a 3D virtual experience, try them on, take them for a walk, maybe even a dance as well as tons of other fun hidden extra functionalities to increase engagement like a basketball hoop. By hijacking the online unboxing phenomenon, Foot Locker made a virtual product demo a seriously shareable experience that was founded upon actual sneaker culture.

Read more at thedrum.com


When it comes to creating some hard hitting Christmas nostalgia no brand has really come close to that of Coca-Cola. And luckily for us all they have decided to include AR into these Christmas marketing efforts! A great example of this was a Facebook AR Camera effect made by Coca Cola Kenya that allowed the user to become Santa #besanta. As Santa you were now free to send personalised holiday messages to all your friends and family.

Read case study

As you well know this time of year gives marketers a host of opportunities when it comes to producing fun branded Christmas Instagram AR Effects and filters that are likely to be shared even more than other times of the year, as friends and families look for ways to share some laughs and some festive spirit. So if your agency, brand, business, organisation, charity or non-profit have never attempted to utilise AR in one of your campaigns, tis the season to do it


If you have any questions or would like us to tell you how you could use AR to grow your online presence just get in touch!

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