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Childish Gambino gets a new summer-themed Snapchat lens


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Having created the most talked-about music video of 2018 with ‘This Is America’, Childish Gambino is also getting up to some inventive stuff with Snapchat.

Gambino and RCA Records worked with Snap to create a new Snapchat lens based on his song ‘Summertime Magic’, which will be geofenced to 23 cities – starting with Los Angeles, New York and London last Friday.

The lens popped up in Snapchat users’ carousels, offering a clip of the track and an augmented-reality logo, so that fans could share it with their friends (you can see some example snaps here). There’s also a website showing fans when the lens will unlock in other cities, plus a ‘snapcode’ to make it quicker for them to unlock it on their phones if they’re not in one of the specific cities that’s part of the campaign.

The launch follows Snapchat’s keynote at the Midem conference in June, when its VP of partnerships Ben Schwerin talked up the potential of AR lenses for musicians. “If we can highlight a couple of songs every week, and make them available to all of our users around the world, we can really make a big impact,” he said.

“A third of our community uses lenses every day… People talk about augmented reality a lot, and sometimes it sounds like a tech demo in search of a use case. But we’ve said we’re going to use augmented reality because it’s emotional, it’s fun, it puts a smile on your face, and that’s what you want to share with your friends.”


Written by: Stuart Dredge