The L.A. Rams created the first-ever AR uniform reveal, giving Rams fans and NFL fans across the country a way to get up close and personal with the team's bold new look.
Objective and Context:
In the mid-1990s, the Rams left Los Angeles for St. Louis. Two decades later, they returned to Los Angeles, hiring the youngest head coach in the NFL, signing star players, breaking ground on a $5 billion stadium, and preparing to reveal new uniforms that represented their progressive leap into the future.
Two weeks before the hyped reveal of their new look, the COVID-19 pandemic transformed how sports leagues and teams thought about live events, forcing the Rams to cancel their in-person plans for their uniform reveal.
At a time when the team couldn't be with their fans, the Rams wanted a way to bring everyone together to celebrate their new uniforms, get people excited about the upcoming season, and jump on an opportunity to own the sports news cycle when games weren't being played.
Several other NFL teams unveiled new uniforms in the offseason. As a secondary objective, the Rams wanted to differentiate themselves from what had become a cookie-cutter video reveal strategy across the league.
The primary target audience for the campaign was Rams fans, a broad demographic base with a skew toward males in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. This is an extremely passionate group who follows the Rams' every move, especially on digital platforms. Fans were awaiting the reveal of the new uniforms for months, and the conditions of quarantine built that anticipation to another level.
The secondary audience was NFL and sports fans in the 13-to-34 age bracket who represent the next generation of Rams devotees. Whether it's sneaker launches, athlete Twitter feuds, or uniform reveals, this group is extremely knowledgeable about sports culture.
Reaching 75 percent of the 13-to-34 age group of the U.S. population, Snapchat could connect the Rams with their next generation of fans like no other platform. NFL fans are included in this group, with over 33 million fans tuned in to watch NFL content on Snapchat throughout the 2019 season (three million more fans than Twitter).
With COVID-19 forcing fans into a quarantined reality, the Rams saw a perfect opportunity with augmented reality (AR). Quickly pivoting from a planned live, in-person uniform reveal event, AR was the best way to introduce the new uniforms to fans stuck at home. With 180 million users engaging with AR on a daily basis, Snapchat was the best place to bring the execution to life and at scale. The Rams secured the national AR Lens placement, which put their uniform reveal in the first slot of the platform's popular AR carousel.
To build additional scale and launch fan engagement, the Rams captured video of its players interacting with the AR Lens and shared this content across social platforms such as Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram.
Overall Campaign Execution:
The Rams created the first-ever AR uniform reveal, giving Rams fans and NFL fans across the country a way to get up close and personal with the team's bold new look.
The Rams built 3D augmented reality models of Rams stars Aaron Donald and Jared Goff. Using only high-res photos as reference, AR designers and animators perfected everything from Goff's jawline to Donald's biceps. The design team built precise AR versions of the new helmet and the home and away jerseys.
On launch day, an exclusive "first look" at the new uniforms could only be seen on Snapchat. Upon opening the Snapchat Lens from the prominent national placement in Snapchat's AR carousel, fans could try on both new jerseys with or without the helmet by tapping to switch through each.
Flipping to "world view," Goff and Donald took the field and fans could walk around them in 360 degrees to check out every angle of the new Rams garb. Each player also individually animated Goff throwing a touchdown pass, and Donald partaking in his signature quarterback sack celebration, while custom voiceover recorded by the official SoFi Stadium PA announcer blared in the background.
Rams players even got in on the action. Star tight end Tyler Higbee caught a pass from his AR quarterback, and shared the recording on Twitter and Instagram. Starting nose tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day mimicked his AR defensive line teammate's quarterback sack celebration.
Adding to the reveal, the Rams turned every new logo into a scannable AR experience. All fans and players had to do was scan the logo to bring the new uniforms and the Rams star players to life.
For the first time ever, a new uniform launch united fans in a time when they couldn't be together: creating a digital tailgate unlike any ever seen before.
Mobile wasn't just a component or separate channel integration for the campaign, but instead the core focus. Snapchat is a mobile-only app, and though people could see recordings of the experience on desktop, they could only use the Lens on Snapchat.
First and foremost, Snapchat is a platform that connects family and best friends through visual communication, as more than 60 percent of Snapchatters create Snaps with the camera every day. During COVID-19, Snapchat has helped bring people (including sports fans) together, even when they had to be apart.
After two decades in St. Louis, the Rams moved back to Los Angeles in 2016. Since then, they have experienced a resurgence to the top of the standings, including a Super Bowl appearance in the 2018-19 season. 2020 represented a progressive step into the future with the new uniforms while establishing the Rams in LA as they opened their state-of-the-art $5 billion stadium.
The Lens received more than 40 million total impressions on Snapchat, averaging 21 seconds of playtime. Fans shared the Lens more than 1.2 million times, three times higher than the average Lens initiative.
The campaign garnered a lot of conversation among fans and the press. The Lens was featured on NFL Network's morning show, Good Morning Football, as well as the ESPN show SportsCenter on Snapchat. It also made headlines in TechCrunch, Adweek, and several marketing publications.