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Minions Mob Snapchat in ‘Despicable Me 3’ Augmented-Reality Promo

Variety logo Variety 6/26/2017 Todd Spangler
© Provided by Variety

Snap has snagged a chunk of Universal-Illumination Entertainment’s “Despicable Me 3” marketing budget.

The impish Minions from the animation franchise are starring in three sponsored selfie Snapchat Lenses — including one of the first sponsored “world lenses” sold by Snap — which are running Monday in the U.S. for a 24-hour period. The studio’s augmented-reality campaign is aimed at pushing Snapchat’s predominantly Gen Z and millennial user base into theaters this coming weekend.

Snapchat’s world lens employs a smartphone’s outward-facing camera to incorporate floating objects superimposed in a user’s environment. In the The “Despicable Me 3” execution, Snapchatters can adopt the guise of the movie’s supervillain, Balthazar Bratt (voiced by Trey Parker), and pop balloons floating in front of them to reveal Minions and other prizes.

The two others standard Snapchat lenses feature Minions invading two of the app’s most popular Lenses (the Flower Crown and Multicolor lenses).

In Canada and France, Universal on Monday is launching a different Lens campaign that lets Snapchatters sing karaoke like the Minions do in the trailer.

In addition, the studio has bought interactive Snapchat ads where users swipe up to a karaoke Lens and can submit their entry for their cross-platform karaoke challenge (at despicablemechallenge.com). Those ads have been running the past few weeks and will continue through the movie’s theatrical release.

“Despicable Me 3,” which stars stars Kristen Wiig, Steve Carell, Trey Parker and Miranda Cosgrove, hits theaters Friday, June 30.

Snap had an average of 166 million daily active users, most in North America, during the first quarter of 2017. According to the company, Snapchatters on average play with a sponsored lens for more than 15 seconds before sending it to friends or posting to their Story.

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