With billions of messages sent every single day, Snaps seized the opportunity to help marketers create branded emojis, keyboards, stickers and other assets for mobile messaging apps like Kik, WhatsApp, iMessage, Tango and Facebook Messenger.
This week, Snaps announced it has received $6.5 million in funding to further develop its pint-sized pixel apps, according to the Wall Street Journal.
When a brand shows up in the right way and the right place, it can make that relationship even stronger. Top brands already using the emoji keyboards include Viacom, Kraft, Sony Pictures, Burger King, Comedy Central, Coca-Cola, GE, Comedy Central, Mentos, Logo TV, Victoria Secret, Sony Pictures Entertainment, VH1, Time Inc. and the Houston Rockets.
Swyft Media reports 41.5 billion messages and 6 billion emoticons or stickers are sent globally every day. “When we offer mobile app users the imagery of their favorite brands, they don’t see it as advertising,” Evan Wray, co-founder Swyft Media, to Adweek. “They see it as self-expression.”
Snaps launched its first branded keyboard in partnership with Comedy Central’s Broad City in January. “The key to engagement with consumers is relevant content, and the branded Snaps keyboards offer a completely new type of interaction between friends, who now have the ability to share content that they like, in the medium that they spend the most time in—messaging,” stated Snaps founder Vivian Rosenthal in a press release.
“We’ve seen young audiences shifting from email and Facebook to new homes like Instagram and iMessage, and we’re thrilled to be working with Viacom and other brands to help manage this shift with them,” stated Christian Brucculeri, CEO of Snaps. Future uses could include shareable coupons and sticker discount “promojis.”
Snaps has worked with about 20 brands since the beginning of the year, and just signed a partnership with Trolli to develop a custom branded keyboard for the new Sour Brite Crawler Minis and Extreme Sour Bites.
“We’ve seen messaging, emoticon and emoji use skyrocket across platforms globally,” said Ben Shaw, strategy director for BBH in London, Mentos’ agency, to Adweek. “Creating branded emoticons, or social stickers, allows Mentos to participate in a space that can be difficult for brands to penetrate.”
In February, IKEA launched 100 emoticons—including its iconic Swedish meatballs—with the goal of helping the sexes communicate better, especially around misunderstandings related to clutter.
An “emoticoke” campaign by Coca-Cola Puerto Rico created 30 emoticons with the objective of developing a universal way to share happiness.
Taco Bell is so bullish on developing a taco emoji it started a Change.org petition for the Unicode Consortium to open the gates so it could diversify the food emoji set. “Why do pizza and hamburger lovers get an emoji but taco lovers don’t? Here’s a better question: Why do we need four different types of mailboxes? Or 25 different types of clocks? Or a VCR tape and floppy disk emoji? No one even uses those things anymore.”