How to Design AR Effects for Your Halloween Campaign

October 21, 2021 • Written by Camera IQ

If you haven’t heard by now, let’s shout it from the rooftops one more time: ‘Tis the Season for AR! 

Halloween is the ultimate time for creating fun, engaging, purpose-driven AR campaigns for your social media audience to interact with. There’s just something about dressing up for Halloween that AR can’t get enough of and so many brands have already utilized this unique aspect about the spooky season to fuel their holiday marketing strategies. 

We’ve put together a quick guide to help you achieve your holiday AR campaign goals. We asked Camera IQ Account Strategist, Erika Brooks Adickman, for her expertise in designing for our customers and what it takes to build a successful interactive holiday campaign. Since it’s prime spooky season right now, we had her break down design tactics from Camera IQ Halloween AR experiences for extra inspiration.


View The Ultimate Guide to Designing AR for the Holidays here!


Taking a Closer Look

As added Inspiration for you, we asked Erika to breakdown some fun Halloween AR experiences and explain how they might have been created.


“Halloween” by Avon.

CIQ: Can you give us your expert opinion on what might’ve been the idea behind the Halloween by Avon Effect?

EA: What’s happening here is Avon is marrying elements of their iconic looks with elements of Halloween makeup. Each look has an element of beauty—as to stay true to their brand—while also melding in some elements that aren’t so typical of beauty makeup. 

CIQ: Could you describe the AR looks for us?

EA: The first look for example has a beautiful, goth-inspired, bold lip, which is then combined with geometric cobweb-inspired eyeliner. The second look is a smokey eye–I could recreate this look with real makeup– and then they added the sculpting of the nose, which is more like makeup for the stage. The final look has a cat-eye and gorgeous lashes.

CIQ: How would you say an AR design concept like this will work with a brand’s audience? 

EA: An audience on social media can be varied. Especially when you think about what a person might want to be for Halloween. With this effect for example they are giving their audience options: You’ve got goth, creepy, and cute all at once–it hits all the tenets of the kinds of costumes people might want. Seeing yourself in one of these looks can help you decide what to wear for Halloween. The looks can then be replicated in the real world so that their audience can try it with real makeup. 

CIQ: What about in terms of performance? How can a brand use their design to gauge how an AR experience might perform? 

EA: As with any campaign, if the effect just sits there (in your effect library), then it goes nowhere. The brand itself has to let the users know that it’s live and promote it. 


“Disney’s Cruella by Mac Cosmetics” 

CIQ: How would you say an effect like this might’ve been crafted on our platform? 

EA: The makeup would have used face reference to make the custom eye–same with the complexity of the shadow. These would have to be their own assets that they would’ve uploaded onto the platform. The lip and cheek could be created in our design platform. They also may have added a brow as its own asset as well. 

CIQ: What makes an effect like this interesting to a social audience? 

EA: What’s interesting about this one is that it has an element of storytelling. It’s a villain’s origin story. We see the user transform before our eyes. They are bringing in elements of the movie with a fire reveal. The animation of the sparkles falling upward instead of downwards gives it that Disney magic. 

CIQ: What might be a factor towards giving the user an interactive experience with an AR effect like this?

EA: For this effect, the user has the power to choose. I get to decide which look I like better. There is also a connection with [Mac’s] Cruella Palette. I can try on the makeup and see if it’s something I’d like to purchase. So the effect is not only editorial, it’s also educational– I can use this as inspiration for my own Halloween costume. What fits me the most? The power is in my hands. 

CIQ: How might an effect like this avoid excluding people who may not have seen the movie? 

EA: With the first look you can not have seen the movie and have no connection with the movie and still use and try to have fun with the effect. It’s not just about creating for the fan, it’s about creating for everyone. People who share this effect to their stories spark the curiosity of someone who is just passively watching and may cause them to try it on and play with it themselves. 

For more inspiration about designing for Halloween, be sure to check out The Camera IQ AR Calendar of Your Nightmares on our Instagram, where we have been counting down the days to Halloween by showcasing our favorite Halloween AR experiences by our customers. If you’re looking for more guides or AR strategy tips, check out our other Resources. Happy Haunting, Everyone! We’ll be seeing you on the other side! 

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