Which Instagram AR effect are you?

The last couple of weeks, one specific Instagram AR effect has been dominating the internet. Where did this start, why is this concept so popular and should you act on it with your brand?

Around the end of 2019 a new Instagram effect was gaining a lot of traction. The effect, named “Which Disney”, was created by a filmmaker/digital artist called Arno Partissimo. The effect comes in the form of a “quiz” choosing a Disney character for you based on a random effect which contains images from these characters. After selecting the Instagram effect within the camera view, the user starts the quiz by holding the record button. The randomizer starts and after a couple of seconds you see the result. Simple but very effective.

The effect eventually made its appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel show boosting its exposure even more. People started noticing the success and the huge amount of exposure this effect was generating. Soon, all kinds of spin-offs started popping up like the “2020 Predictions”, “Which Friends Character Are You”, Which Pokemon Are You” and many more you also might have noticed in your Instagram Stories.

The effect itself is relatively simple and doesn’t have any high quality or creative, complex 3D Augmented Reality components. It is more about the fun element of the quiz itself instead of the visual appearance. So why does this effect dominates lots of Instagram Stories? To start, these kind of quizzes have been around for a long time and have always been popular. Especially buzzfeed has a big part in it with its “Which celebrity are you” and other likewise quizzes.

I think it is mainly the combination of specific elements which do the trick. The surprise element and how to react to the outcome motivates users to start the quiz. It also kinda touches some gambling feelings of winning which is a big trigger. People are obviously happy and show it when the outcome is a more lovable or hero character instead of a villain. Another point is the extremely easy way of using the effect. Anyone with the Instagram app and a functioning camera can use it without any complex instructions. Regarding sharing, Instagram makes it super easy for others, seeing your story, to try the effect which is a huge help to make it go viral. Especially when a celebrity or influencer with a large number of followers posts the outcome to their story. As a follower you just tap on the name of the effect, hit “try it” on the pop-up and the effect opens.

To test and see how this genre of AR effects spreads and what it does exposure-wise, I did a test and created a super simple “Which Disney Dog Are You” effect. I silently submitted the effect to my personal Instagram account with a staggering following of 418 people.. Below an impression of that effect.

Try It

Within 72 hours, the effect generated an exposure of 40.000+ impressions. This without even sharing the effect as a post or story. As the discoverability and shareability of this genre is high, the exposure it generates is at a huge peak now. So the next questions is, how will this trend evolve and is it interesting for brands to join the trend?

The last couple of weeks we were (and still are) approached by different brands with the question to create an effect based on the randomizer quiz. Creatively you can always find a way of linking it to a brand and currently it is still relevant. And yes, if you jump on the train soon enough, it will generate some exposure for your brand, if done well. It is not the most innovative way of using Social AR effects for your brand but it sure is an effective way of getting your brand out there and reaching a large (and maybe new) audience and increase your following.

How long this trend will last is hard to say but it is good to see how it brings Social AR effects to a large audience who were maybe not using them before. In my opinion it will last a while but the amounts of exposure it currently generates will be less and less. Not only because people probably are going to get annoyed by another “what” or “who” are you effect, but also because the huge amount of effects out there.

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