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8 Types of Instagram AR Story Filters Used by Brands

More than 1 year on, Instagram AR story filters have been used widely by brands all over the world as a new social media engagement tools for their Instagram marketing campaign. With the ever-increasing brand Instagram story filters daily, it may be hard to tell what filters are good for your brand or even the types of story filters available in the market. So here's a list of 8 types of Instagram AR story filters most commonly used by brands around the world!


1) Colour Adjustment AR Filters

One of the first use of Instagram filters is the change of colours of the camera feed in real-time, which was one of the features available on Instagram since many years ago. Combining Augmented Reality (AR) effects, brands can now create their own colour adjustment filters based on their brand or campaign key visuals. For Selena Gomez, a rainbow light Instagram story filter was created based on her single "Rare". The rainbow light matches the music video of "Rare" which also showcases rainbow lights. In addition, 3D butterflies flying around the head were also added to complete the AR experiences that suit her followers (most likely females). This type of Instagram story filters is good for brands to encourage their followers to use it for daily personal expression on Instagram story.


2) Beautifying AR Filters

Beautifying Instagram story filters are most commonly used by beauty or cosmetic brands, just like the filters did by Mac Cosmetics shown above. A beauty AR filter usually has the following virtual AR makeup:

  • Face smoothening/Whitening

  • Virtual eyelashes

  • Virtual eye shadows

  • Blusher

  • Lipsticks

Mac Cosmetics Instagram story filter has all of the above, including a sparkle background that immersive their followers for an immersive beauty and dreamy AR experience. Apart from beauty & cosmetic brands, brands with majority female audiences are also suitable to add some basic beautifying AR effects to their brand story filter.

For example, the Instagram story filter GOWAAA created for Heytea Singapore has basic face smoothening and whitening effects to beautify Heytea Singapore's followers; since the majority of milk tea drinkers are females in Singapore. And everyone loves to see a better-looking version of themselves!


3) Random AR Filters

The trend of the randomizing Instagram story filters was kickstarted from the viral filters "Which Disney Character Are You?" around December 2019/January 2020. This simple filter idea went so viral that even Jimmy Fallon mentioned and played with it on his talk show. Since then, brands from all industries and all sizes have made full use of this virality idea and adapted it to their marketing campaign. For a shoes brand, it will be "Which Shoes Are You" while for a coffee brand it will be "Which Coffee Should You Drink Today?". These random AR filters are still a good way to implement Instagram story filters for your brands as most Instagram users are already familiar with how it works, saving brands time on providing instruction.

However, as this idea has been seriously overused, brands would need to be creative by having creative animations or use of 3D objects to stand out from the rest. A good example would be the Instagram story filters created by Eztravel Taiwan, the largest online travel company in Taiwan. To help their followers ease some tension from not being able to travel, Eztravel Taiwan created this random story filters that randomly select countries which you can "visit". The use of smooth animations, together with the good use of effects and illustrations of various landmarks made the Instagram story filter stood out from the sea of brand random AR filters.


4) Quiz AR filters

Quiz AR filter is another type of Instagram story filter which brands can create to create fun engagement and interactivity with their target audiences. There are many different types of quiz a brand can create depending on their marketing campaign. For example, Aussie Theatre created a quiz Instagram story filter for their followers to guess the name of a musical made up of emojis. Their followers have 10 secs for each play to guess it right before the answer reveals by itself. Another form of quiz filters similar to the emojis one is the "Guess The Gibberish" Instagram story filters where a gibberish version of a phrase will appear for the followers to guess the correct phrase in 10 secs.

Another type of quiz Instagram story filters brands have done provides a series of questions, usually 3-5, with 2 options for Instagram users to choose for each question. An example would be the Christmas personality quiz GOWAAA created for NTUC Fairprice, the largest supermarket brand in Singapore. Depending on the answers provided by the Instagram users, up to 5 different Christmas shopper personality related to products found in Fairprice supermarket will be decided for the users.


5) Game AR Filter

Game AR filters are not uncommon among brands, it is, in fact, one of the most commonly used types of Instagram story filter by brands. One of the most common types of Game filters is the catching/eating game where Instagram users have to catch falling objects either with their mouth or a catching basket. This idea is highly not recommended as it is overly used by brands and it is no longer new among Instagram users. Instead, brands can consider making Instagram story games with a different perspective, together with good visuals, animations, and sound effects to provide a complete AR experience. For example, the game AR filters GOWAAA created for Singapore Tourism Board (STB) showcases Merli, the ambassador of Singapore, riding towards the screen collecting landmark coins. The filter is completed with background visuals, animations designed by GOWAAA, and sound effects to provide an overall cute look of the Merli game.

Another good example is the Instagram story game filter created by Yakitoriya Cafe, a famous Japanese cafe in Russia. By having a unique game perspective, Yakitoriya provided a refreshing game filter that is also hard to replicate by other brands at the same time.


6) Real World AR Filter

Real World AR filter refers to Instagram story filters that allow users to place virtual 3d objects in our real world as if it is real. A good example would be the PS5 box Instagram story filter that went viral, allowing users to fake owning a PS5 before the launch of PS5. Though the story filter is not created by Sony itself to promote PS5, it has certainly contributed to the high demand for PS5 to some degree.

If a brand has a character/mascot to showcase, real-world AR filters are also ideal for brands to allow users to interact with their character/mascot in real-time through AR. Just like what Dreamworks did with one of the movie characters from Troll. The Instagram story filter of troll allows Instagram users to bring the troll character out of the movie into their home, their personal table, and basically any way the users' camera points!


7) Target Tracker AR Filter

Target tracker AR filters refer to Instagram story filters that can be trigger upon locating a targeted image pre-determined by the brand. For example, Cyberpunk 2077, the soon to be released video game, created a target tracker story filter exclusively for anyone that will be buying the game. The AR effects seen above can only be trigger by an image that comes with the game, making the AR experiences exclusive even though it is hosted on Instagram.

Another example would be the Instagram story filter GOWAAA created for Domino's Singapore. As shown in the video above the story filters can only be triggered by pointing towards the pizza box, which users have to obtain by ordering a pizza from Domino's in Singapore. When the pizza box is found, users can switch their camera to reveal a surprising effects with half the screen being the neon night scene, and the other being the day sunny scene; representing that anyone in Singapore can order dominos pizza day and night! In this case, the target image is the pizza boxes provided by Domino's when anyway order pizzas from Domino's Singapore.


8) Immersive AR Filter

Immersive AR filters are Instagram story filters that place the users' face or something cutoff of their body into a virtual 3D scene, making instagram users part of the immersive 3D virtual scene. An example would be the Instagram story filter created by Paris Saint-German Football club to introduce their new jerseys. Instagram users are able to become a football player of the football club wearing their new jerseys, which is definitely what the fans of football club will enjoy.

German singer Clueso also created an Instagram story filter for his song, with an immersive 3D scene replicating his music video but allowing Instagram users to be a part of it. This allows his fan to be a part of his music, providing an unique immersive expereince for his fans along with his music.


As Instagram story filters are increasing by the thousand daily, these 8 types of instagram story filters are just a guide for brands to see what types of filters are commonly used by brands. If you are still unsure what type of filter works best for your brand, no worries! Contact us via info@gowaaa.com to find out more and we will provide a customised AR design that will suit your brand's need and budget!


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