Coca-Cola and McDonald’s are Snapchat Scan’s First Users

Snapchat Scan allows users to take a photo of any logo and unlock new lenses, and Coke and McDonald's are the first to use the new service.

Need to Know

  • Coke and McDonald’s are the first to jump on Snapchat’s new “Snapchat Scan” feature that will unlock Augmented Reality (AR) lenses and content for users.
  • Both Coke and McDonald’s have been experimenting with AR and Virtual Reality (VR) for several years all around the world.
  • By scanning either the Coca-Cola or McDonald’s logo on certain packages, iOS device users can activate three lenses to use in Snapchat.


It’s estimated that by 2020 the economic impact of VR and AR is going to reach $29.5 billion. Food giants Coca-Cola and McDonald’s are eager to get a piece of the pie, whether by running campaigns, or, most recently, by partnering with Snap on the platform’s newest tool, Snapchat Scan. 

This new feature allows companies to create an AR experience such as augmented content and lenses by asking users to scan a logo or a “marker lens” on Snapchat. The opportunity to use Snapchat Scan will be available to any brand that uses Snap’s Lens Studio, the company’s free AR creation tool.

More than 90% of US citizens ages 13 to 24 use Snapchat, along with 75% of 13- to 34-year-olds. These markets are extremely coveted by all kinds of retailers, which means Snap’s audience is a prime demographic to experiment with new campaigns in. While Snapchat’s user growth has been stalled since the beginning of 2018, brands and users are excited about the new additions announced at it’s first ever Snap Partner Summit in April 2019.

Along with the new brand partnership opportunity with Scan, Snapchat also announced a Snap Kit that will allow third parties to integrate Snap stories into different apps like Tinder, Houseparty, and Adventure Aide.

In addition, a multiplayer gaming platform, an integration with Giphy, and a new audience network that will help developers monetize their apps and allow users to bring Bitmojis outside of Snapchat is also coming, and with it, hopefully a boom of new users for Snapchat.

Coca Cola and McDonald’s have experimented quite a bit with AR in the past as well.

In 2014, McDonald’s created the GOL! app to allow customers to play soccer with their fries boxes during the FIFA World Cup Championship in Brazil. In 2016, the fast-food giant introduced an AR version of its classic Monopoly board game in Australia, and a VR demo experience at SXSW which was heavily branded and less creative. 

Coca-Cola’s AR marketing has been “future-oriented”: stories emerging from pop-cans, pop-ups at malls that make a game of people “recycling” the cans, and the latest large-scale holiday-themed AR promotion that lets smartphone users immerse themselves in the Coke polar bears’ arctic home. 

By engaging customers in new ways and providing these sorts of experiences, Coca-Cola is hoping to win the brand culture battle against the 49% of Gen Zers who believe that drinking soda isn’t healthy.

It appears that they’re on the right track: a 2018 study by Omnivert of over 700 million ads, found that 360° videos had an 85% completion rate, a 22x click-through rate, and a 25% reduction in cost per conversion compared to 2D video’s 58% completion rate. 

Consumers are hungry for different experiences, and by providing these experiences on platforms that people are already using will boost the likability and sales of these brands.