Meet the creator behind Doritos – Buffalo Bo
I recently sat down with Bram van de Ven, the founder of AR marketing agency arfected. He and his team develop AR filters and AR apps for social media and big-name international brands. This most recently led to being selected by Doritos to build the Buffalo Bo experience for Instagram. In today’s spotlight, hear Bram’s AR story and his thoughts on working this project.
How did you first get into AR and when did your AR career start?
It all started back in 2018 when Lens Studio released their first public versions. As a freelancer, I got into creating Lenses and Facebook effects, then Instagram came along. I quickly realised I needed more expertise, so I hired a 3D designer, a developer, an intern, and a project manager. We are currently with a team of 9 and fully expect to keep up the growth!
After seeing the impact and reach AR marketing has, I was sold. Snapchat Lenses were able to reach millions of people in just a matter of days, with no advertising dollars! Combine that with a generation that is tired of being bombarded with boring and intrusive ads and you’ve got the groundwork for arfected.
What was required by the brief you won through Poplar Studio?
We were asked to put together tech specs for a pretty complex AR experience that required our 3D skills, development skills and graphic design skills. We were provided with 2D cartoon-esque visuals and from those we had to create 3D models and develop a game.
What made you interested in applying to this brief?
The complexity of the already thought-out concept was alluring. I love a challenge, and I know the team does too! Also, seeing “top secret” where you’d normally see the brand always gets my curiosity going. The more complex these experiences seem to get, the more interested I am to take them on. It’s always an opportunity to learn. It’s from challenges like these that I know the team will learn the most.
What was your favourite part of building this experience?
My favourite aspect was seeing how different parts of the team were responsible for different parts of the experience and then seeing it all put together. We started out as having a few separate teams who worked on the experience. One team for the 2D assets, one working on the 3D assets, and our developer started working on the game mechanics with placeholder assets. My favourite part was seeing it all come together and seeing the buffalo walking around.
Was there anything particularly challenging about this experience?
In order to cover most of the details of this complex AR game, we spent quite some time putting together a user-flow. Unfortunately, the time we spent on that ate into time usually spent on development. A stone’s throw away from the deadline, the client decided to move away from the more complex part of the experience and go for something simpler instead. As the deadline was kept in place, it required us to regroup and put all our focus in making that simpler experience a great one.
Was the end result of the experience any different to the brief?
Usually the end results come pretty close to the briefs we apply to. This time around, the client made the reasonable decision to move away from the more complex part of the experience. The selfie side of the brief is intact, though!
Do you build for any other AR marketing platforms other than Instagram?
We sure do! Although the Blazin’ Buffalo game was built for Instagram, we build for Snapchat, Facebook, TikTok and the web.
Thank you to Bram for taking the time to speak with me! You can find out more about Bram and arfected over on their social channels or website which are linked below.