- Baidu's Facemoji Keyboard generated buzz for Paramount's "Bumblebee" film, the "Transformers" sequel released in December. An interactive Bumblebee augmented reality (AR) emoji saw 4.1 million downloads, while a movie sticker pack was downloaded more than 600,000 times, per an announcement from Baidu shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Facemoji rolled out AR emoji for Sanrio, the Japanese company whose best-known character is Hello Kitty, to bring cartoon characters "Gudetama the Lazy Egg" and the aggressive red panda "Aggretsuko" from Netflix to life. Sanrio's emoji generated downloads and revenue in the first few weeks of launch, per the announcement.
- Simeji, the popular emoji keyboard that started in Japan, drove 40,000 downloads of Sumikko Gurashi's puzzle app with a custom keyboard skin that mobile users unlocked by completing actions and reaching a specific level in the app, per the announcement.
Baidu, the Chinese internet search giant, has shown the power of its Facemoji Keyboard in creating customized emoji for mobile marketing as smartphone users download the feature to enhance their digital experience and communicate with friends. Keyboard apps are especially popular among millennial and Gen Z audiences, the company said. The facemoji can be combined into communications and content sharing among friends and family, making them ideal for brands, per Baidu's announcement.
Facemoji can be an effective marketing tool when used in an entertaining way to generate awareness among tech-savvy young adults who are more likely to use smartphone messaging. Facemoji grab attention and add more emotion to messages by making them easier and quicker to understand. Baidu's data indicate that facemoji are effective at driving downloads and branded content. Work collaboration app Slack now offers emoji to let users communicate with hearts, smiley faces and other popular icons, The Wall Street Journal reported this week. Twitter this month started testing emoji for TweetDeck, its social media dashboard application.
Paramount is among the companies that have used facemoji to immerse mobile users in a brand experience. Apple introduced animoji with the rollout of the iPhone X in 2018, and ran several ad campaigns that played upon the fad of animoji karaoke, including two spots that aired during last year's Grammy Awards. Rival electronics maker Samsung introduced an AR Emoji feature on Galaxy S9 smartphones last year, which suggests that mobile users responded positively to emoji. The popularity of animoji led third-party software developers to create apps that have face-recording features. The U.S. Forest Service last month reimagined its Smokey Bear mascot as an animated emoji for several public service announcements.