"AR is having a moment. When Apple and Google jump in, everyone stands up and pays attention. And the technology is finally available through the web."
Evan Fisk, VP of digital marketing at Lionsgate.

What is most interesting about the campaign is the choice of mobile web as the distribution means.

Snapchat has been offering customized filters like this but the costs are usually in the $500k range. Mobile web lowers the bar for cost to develop which would be divided by 10, as well as the development time.
With such ads over the web, Lionsgate can target consumers across hundreds of websites and use location-based data to find its most likely fans. The studio also gets to keep data from the campaign.

How does it work?

The ad maps to the user's face and overlays a torture device from the movie. This is an interesting development in the rapidly growing AR wave. The effort is not related to Snapchat. In fact, Lionsgate separately bought a Snapchat lens for "Jigsaw"—and the special effects look a little more sophisticated than the mobile web campaign.

Why do we think this is the future for brands?

"On the web, we are able to capture more than the standard ad metrics you get out of video or clicks," Evan Fisk says. Eventually, with the camera access and selfies, brands could measure emotional reactions and other data from consumers.

The ads are targeted and measured using the same ad tech available to brands when they run any other campaign across the mobile web. They are not reliant on apps like Snapchat to find a wide audience.