A social media filter is always good fun. From Snapchat starting the puppy dog ears selfie trend to Instagram popularising lighthearted ‘would you rather’ games and TikTok fooling us all with beauty filters, they’re undoubtedly of the zeitgeist. Crucially, these causal internet trends can be invaluable tools to engage your audience in a fun albeit meaningful way. 

Zubr is one of the UK’s top studios for augmented and virtual reality innovation, and the team has vast expertise in building all sorts of creative social media filters. The agency focused subrand of the business, Atom, specialises in delivering these projects to a range of clientele. So, if your interest has been piqued by what social media may have to offer your organisation, you know your next destination.

Zubr Atom partners with brands, agencies and promoters around the world to help communicate their message through innovative new channels, pushing the technological boundaries for client and consumer engagement. Whether it’s adding value through connected packaging, enhancing physical artwork, or bringing performance to a wider audience, Atom is ready to help.

Why social media filters?

Social media filters are the most accessible forms of Augmented Reality (AR). The audience has access to quick, immersive content delivered in easily digestible bite size chunks. 

There’s no need to download an additional app which makes filters an extremely affordable method to provide added value to almost any subject. 

These filters are built directly into the top social media platforms which provide highly accessible ‘Lite’ AR experiences. They can easily be integrated with an existing social presence, or embedded in a website. Filters provide rapid downloads, can be accessed directly via a QR Code, and have the full advantages of posting, sharing and tagging on their respective social media platforms.

“The 4 major Social Media platforms have approximately 6244 million monthly users (Statista.com); all of which have instant access to AR filters,” explains James Biggs, Co-founder and Director, at Zubr. “Social Filters can be used to immediately enhance packaging, promote services or provide added value to any number of traditional experiences. This could range from 2D art springing to life in a gallery or enhancing an existing media campaign with a mind-blowing AR world.” 

These experiences fit modern trends, ie. TikTok, by providing simple, easy-to-access AR experiences that deliver above expectations for audiences of all ages. 

If you’re considering creating a social media filter for your brand, event, exhibition, competition, project, or anything, take a look at some of Atom’s work here.

Music promo

Atom collaborates with artists, groups and music labels to create immersive experiences and exclusive content for new releases, performances, tours, festivals, music videos, merch, and augmented posters and billboards. Their back catalogue features VR music performances, 360 and volumetric video capture, and social media filters for clients like Sony Music and Crack Magazine, and artists including Bjork, Aisha Devi, MF Doom, Aphex Twin, SCALPING.


To celebrate the late MF Doom, a multi-artist showcase was created: ‘His name’s Doom’ in June 2022. 

Zubr Atom was invited to produce a number of Augmented Reality digital pieces to augment traditional 2D Artwork. Not only did Atom bring to life an immersive portal, visualising a mix of 2D and 3D digital assets, but we also launched a ‘Face Filter’, allowing participants to try on MF Doom’s iconic headgear, both prior and during the event. 

These experiences not only augmented the physical exhibition for attendees, but also provided an experience for others who couldn’t via social media channels. 

Parklife 2019 AR Flyer

Parklife Festival is famed for its unique annual line-up reveal, and 2019 was no exception. 

Partnering with the renowned Studio Moross, Parklife and Zubr created a mixed-media game to drive hype and competition before the reveal. 

Thousands of flyers were distributed around London, guiding users to activate the Augmented Reality layer and reveal clues about the lineup as part of a competition; with the winner receiving free tickets.

Encouraging Users to post their guesses on Social Media on social pages prior to the reveal resulted in additional interest and traffic.

Declan Mckenna, Sony Music

Known for his stylised music videos just as much as his music, it seemed only fitting that AR Filters would become part of his offering. We worked with Columbia Records to accompany his 2020 Album Launch; Zeroes. 

The inspiration for the filters came from the artwork from his song, Beautiful Faces music video.

The first filter morphs a 3D abstract head of Declan Mckenna onto yours, phasing in and out to create some rather unique combinations! Perfect for sharing on Instagram stories.

A second video using a different method of AR allowed his fans to be placed into the set of Beautiful Faces and walk around various props and environments from the music video.

“We loved creating this filter as it allowed the many fans of Declan McKenna to truly immerse themselves in his unique creative world,” reflects James. 

Upfest - Virtually Upfest

To celebrate the launch of Virtual Upfest 2020, Atom teamed up with digital artwork collectors Rendar and Bristol artists Cheo and Copyright to offer people a further opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of street art through 3 augmented reality Instagram filters.

They animated Cheo’s artwork ‘Retro Flow’ by creating an AR filter that brings the exclusive print to life.

Atom created an additional layer of free flowing psychedelia for Copyright’s ‘Heal’ artwork.

They took it one step further, encouraging people to step into the shoes of a graffiti artist using the Instagram selfie filter which invites you to try on the 3D Upfest hat and chain and add selfies to your Instagram story.

Even though you couldn’t physically attend Upfest in 2020, Atom’s filters enabled people to fully immerse themselves in the virtual festival on a number of platforms. 

Upfest -  Six Sisters

Following the success of their previous collaborations, Upfest asked Zubr to bring the six street murals to life, which form the Six Sisters above Upfest HQ on North Street.

The filters transport you inside the artworks to a world where natural elements like clouds and sunbeams mix with giant butterflies, foxes and bees, and kooky anime characters rub shoulders with stylised female figures. These digital assets appeared not only on the artwork, but flew across North Street towards the User, bringing them truly into the piece of art. 

Launched via a QR code menu on a nearby gorilla, the experiences are packed full of Bristolian charm.

National Rail

Covid was a trying time for the travel industry. With there being a focus on driving traffic to new areas within the UK to promote ‘Staycations’ to a younger audience who could no longer fly for their summer holiday, National Rail approached Atom to tackle the subject creatively.

Atom’s solution was to create a roulette-style AR filter that was a simple, enjoyable experience that provided tangible value to their audience, as well as inspiration for their upcoming summer getaways. 

Activated via National Rail’s social media channels, users were able to randomise a search and view a 360 image of any number of destinations behind them, as if they were there. Not only did this promote destinations available to the User, but also provided a great selfie opportunity for sharing!

Launched for National Rail’s national ticket offer in summer 2022, this Instagram filter spearheaded the campaign and was used by thousands of National Rail customers – both for fun at home and as an adventurous way to plan a trip.

“For the last 8 years Zubr has been partnering with creative agencies, restaurants, musicians and artists from all over the world to bring their visions to life,” says James. “Our passionate team supports our partners from the initial concepts all the way through to delivery, with our previous filters reaching hundreds of thousands of audience members. Whether you’re an independent creative looking to bring an idea to life, or an agency wanting to offer the latest tech to your client; we’d love to help.”

You can view Zubr’s full portfolio of work here; feel free to get in touch for more info.