Middle East, 13 February 2023: Snap Inc. have announced its exclusive partnership with MBC Media Solutions (MMS), the commercial arm of MBC Group, to launch new augmented reality (AR) lenses for the first ever season of Saudi Idol – the localized edition of its global franchise. Available on the visual messaging app, the all new lenses give Snapchatters a chance to get up close and personal with their favorite singing stars.
Ushering in a new wave of interactive entertainment experiences supported by the latest in augmented reality, this is Snapchat’s first initiative in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to launch AR lenses in collaboration with content partner entertainment shows. Home to an extremely unique and highly engaged audience in the region, Snapchat reaches over 90% of 13–34-year-olds in the Kingdom, and has a monthly addressable reach of 20 million users.
Inspired by the Saudi Idol auditions, the ‘Casting Lens’ invites Snapchatters from far and wide to live the casting experience by singing to a star-studded panel of judges. Depending on their performance, contestants will find out whether they aced their audition or if they should continue practicing before moving to the next stage. While the ‘Live Shows Lens’ will give Snapchatters the opportunity to be front and center on stage as they sing their favorite songs in front of the four judges and receive feedback from each of them at the end of the performance.
Sara Abu Zahra, Head of Strategic Media Partnerships and Programming for Snap Inc. across MENA, said: “In a world where technology runs hand in hand with creativity, we are delighted to have developed these unique AR lenses for Snapchatters to engage with Snap Idol directly as they tune into the live show. Our extraordinary partnerships and the experiences they bring are what make Snapchat a unique place. We are elated to be launching our first ever lenses in partnership with MMS for Saudi Idol’s first-ever season. We invite Snapchatters from across the region to take advantage of these new interactive lenses and share the love for their favorite singers on the platform.”
“Our leadership in AR plays a transformative role in how people experience and interact with the things they love, fostering communities and adding entertainment to people’s lives. Through this partnership, we look forward to enhancing accessibility within creator and talent communities, giving fans a chance to participate closely in the journey of Saudi Arabia’s highly-anticipated show through an upgraded technology experience as we envision a new era of AR in entertainment for the country,” continued Abu Zahra.
Moussa Abdo, Digital Lead at MMS said: “It’s outstanding how AR is changing the advertising and marketing landscape, providing a new and interactive way for brands & businesses to engage with audiences by creating immersive and personalized experiences. We’re excited to have partnered with Snapchat who are pioneers in AR. They were able to seamlessly integrate this technology with a top-performing show like Saudi Idol, allowing viewers to enjoy firsthand the experience of auditioning in front of judges. We look forward to exploring new and creative ways in partnering with Snapchat in the future so that viewers can have an immersive experience with MBC Group’s rich content.
Bridging the gap between fans and their favorite up-and-coming talents, the latest lenses offer participants the opportunity to connect closely with fans across the region, helping them nurture relationships and reach out to a wider range of audiences. With over 85% of MENA daily users interacting with lenses every day, these lenses also give MBC’s key audiences a chance to enjoy the benefits of AR in entertainment, sparking new conversations and making family viewing experiences more immersive than ever. Each of the lenses have a unique creative element embedded, with multiple options to choose from. The Saudi Idol lenses can be enjoyed simply by opening the Snap Camera on your mobile phone and locating it on the lens carousel.