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With the music industry relying on tech and social media to reach audiences more than ever, your artist’s campaigns need to effectively capture the attention and imaginations of your artists' fans.

As the most accessible form of augmented reality, Instagram and Snapchat filters have now become one of the easiest ways for artists to fully immerse their fans into their concepts and is definitely a useful tool to have in your marketing strategy. Last year we spoke to Dan Williams of Late Night Agency who successfully pitched to create their bespoke digitally wearable cowboy hat for Lil Nas X through Creative Commission. 

“They’re definitely more popular with artists that have a younger audience.” He told us. “I think the scale to which they’re used comes down to the artist and audience — I believe one Snapchat filter we’ve worked on generated close to 4 million views in just over a week.” 

For many fans, an opportunity to wear the branded digital accessory will temporarily transport them into the recognisable fictional western world that Lil Nas X has been building through his music and visuals. 

Explosion in AR filters

Over the past year, there’s been significant growth in other artists experimenting with the medium and incorporating these effects into their campaign arsenal. 

Alt-pop artist Ashnikko has launched four different effects that riff off the kawaii-influence behind her wildly vivid cultivated aesthetic. The exaggerated anime tears of CRY, the video game-style recreation of her iconic blue pigtails, and the creepy-cute blushing cyborg daisy filter all build up the idea that she’s this otherworldly cartoon princess, an ongoing theme that has only been further strengthened by her recent collaboration with fictional Japanese pop-star Hatsune Miku.

FKA Twigs

In a similar vein, FKA Twigs’ sad day filter at first beautifully replicates the artist’s natural freckles on your own face, before vertically splitting your head open to reveal a glossy, 3D blood texture once you open your mouth. The effect replicates a poignant moment in the song’s video where she’s sliced down the middle with a samurai sword, meaning that fans are able to literally see themselves going through the same motions as what they see on screen. 

Unlike gigs, which allow audiences to watch artists as the consumer at a set time and a set place, with a setlist, filters provide instant access and inclusion into an artist’s world like never before. Without needing the physical space to meet, augmented reality provides access to those who wouldn’t necessarily be able to attend a live event, whether that be through physical disability or from living halfway across the globe.


Working alongside 3D designer Sy Blake and motion graphic artist Maurice Andresen, electronic artist Shygirl has successfully made glossy wearable versions of her alter ego characters: Baddie, Bonk, Bovine, and Bae. With the title of her debut album named Alias, having wearable identities possibly makes for the strongest use of these effects we’ve seen thus far. In her November cover feature with Dazed, Shy explains how she went about creating a universe from her inner world to editor Anna Cafolla.

“I think it’s necessary, especially as someone presenting themselves publicly, to confirm that you are not one-dimensional,” she says. “It feels very authentic to me for artists to be amorphous and shed skins – as people we grow.” 

Allowing others to easily play with and try on these identities through their phones assures that even for a moment, a fan will be giving their undivided attention to your artist whilst they’re interacting with their likeness. And for those who have enjoyed the experience, they’ll undoubtedly share it across their stories with minimal prompt, and that will always include a direct link to your artist’s profile embedded via the filter name. There’s a lot of potential there for new audiences to discover your artist purely from a visual perspective, their curiosity organically sparking new life-long listeners.

If you think an AR filter could help strengthen your artist’s campaign, you can discover a range of experienced AR and 3D designers by posting a brief on Creative Commission.