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How Warner Music Drove Huge Organic Engagement Using AR

From about six months ago, many marketers will remember gloomy headlines about the death of organic reach online. Digiday warned us that "Organic reach on Facebook is dead", and many other harbingers of doom followed suit.

Why? Because in January Facebook decided to change its newsfeed. In order to improve user experience, Facebook shifted its algorithm to give greater priority to what users' friends share, and very little priority to unpaid content that users were accustomed to seeing from brands and publishers.

Of course, this also forced even more businesses to use paid advertising on Facebook. Snapchat's major update also came in January, and it had a similar purpose: Snapchat told us it would improve user experience; commentators (like myself) argued that it was a clear attempt to increase advertising income.

Either way, the resounding message of early 2018 was that organic engagement on social media was dead.

But it's not. What's tricky is keeping ahead of the game when it comes to virality, and right now, Snapchat's AR lenses presents one of the biggest possibilities for organic engagement in the augmented reality game.

When Warner came to Fanbytes to promote ICY GRL, the new single by American hip hop artist Saweetie, AR presented a fantastic opportunity.


The concept was simple. We'd tap into the themes of female empowerment behind the song, as well as the idea of the ‘girl boss’, with a lens that made snowflakes and dollar bills rain down on whoever used it.

We distributed to an audience of 13-25 year old girls. The Fanbytes team shared the lens fewer than ten times, and within 24 hours the lens had been shared over 22,000 times.

Every one of these shares was organic. The people who used the lens chose to share it and, without much prompting from us, the lens organically reached over 850,000 people!


We saw tonnes of fantastic responses from the audience of our channels, a few examples of which we have compiled in the video below.

Overall, this was part of a push which helped the song reach 26,000,000 streams on Spotify, and over 47,365,075 views on YouTube.

Again and again, we're seeing fantastic organic engagement from our AR lenses. This is fantastic for brands because it means less money spent on distribution, and – even more importantly – it means that the content was engaging enough that users choose to share it.

For example, we helped Deezer get over 1 million views on a dancing 3D boombox which we made and distributed for them.

If you'd like to find out how Fanbytes can help you get incredible organic engagement via AR, get in touch by emailing us at [email protected].

Bret Cameron

Head of Marketing

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