What’s your four-legged friend really thinking? Universal Pictures teamed with Snapchat on a unique promo for Illumination Entertainment’s upcoming “The Secret Life of Pets 2” to let Snapchatters get an earful from their furry companions.
The studio’s campaign, which launches Tuesday (March 5) on Snapchat, marks the first time Snap has sold a sponsorship for the augmented-reality facial-recognition lenses for cats and dogs, which it bowed in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Snapchat users in the U.S. using the “Secret Life of Pets 2” Lenses will be prompted to bring their dog or cat into the frame, whereupon the pet will acquire an animated mouth and take on a voice inspired by the characters from “The Secret Life of Pets 2.”
With the dog lens, one comment for pooches is, “Look at these eyes. Who’s got cuter eyes than me?” The cat versions, true to long-held stereotypes of standoffish felines, are more prickly: “Get that phone out of my face. I’d ask how you’re doing, but I really don’t care.”
For Snapchat users who don’t own a pet, the movie’s characters will pop into frame — and the Snapchatter will become a dog or cat themselves.
Universal/Illumination’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2” hits theaters nationwide June 7, 2019. The sequel to the 2016 animated hit features returning characters — terrier Max (Patton Oswalt), mutt Duke (Eric Stonestreet) and cute-but-insane bunny Snowball (Kevin Hart) — along with new characters like Rooster (Harrison Ford), a veteran farm dog, and a fearless Shih Tzu, Daisy (Tiffany Haddish). In the new film, the crew teams up with Snowball to rescue Hu, a white tiger cub.
“Snapchat is the ideal platform to bring this technology to the world,” Doug Neil, Universal’s executive VP of digital marketing, said in a statement. Snapchat’s AR features sync up with the movie franchise’s central theme of “the joy of discovering what our pets are really thinking,” he added.
Universal/Illumination has previously worked with Snap on marketing campaigns, including for “Despicable Me 3.” Other entertainment companies that have bought Snapchat Lens campaigns include Sony Pictures for “Venom” and HBO for “Game of Thrones.”
According to Snap, more than 70% of Snapchat daily active users play with or view Lenses daily on average, which translates to over 130 million people every day. The company says U.S. Snapchat users who are frequent moviegoers visit theaters at least once per month on average. A study Snap commissioned last year from NRG found that people who are Snapchat users represent 36% of all moviegoers and 50% of all movie ticket sales in the U.S.
Snapchat users can access the “Secret Life of Pets 2” AR lenses using the Snapcodes below (by either pointing the app’s camera at the code and pressing and holding on it, or by taking a picture and selecting the “scan from camera roll” option in settings):