- Warner Bros. Television Group released an app inspired by its classic sitcom "Friends" that aims to help people celebrate "Friendsgiving," or a large meal among friends around the Thanksgiving holiday, according to a press release. The studio released the app, developed with Double A Labs, amid a publicity blitz for the show's 25th anniversary this year.
- AT&T, Lego and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf have branded stickers in the app's Find Content section. The app also offers augmented reality (AR) experiences, including a Point-N-Pivot game and 3D stickers inspired by some of the show's famous holiday-themed episodes, like "The One with All the Thanksgivings," that can be used to decorate selfies and other pictures.
- The "Friends" app is available for the latest versions of iOS and Android in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Warner Bros. is releasing its holiday-themed "Friends" app to maintain momentum around the show's 25th anniversary, which has already inspired a number of marketing activations this year. The sitcom actually aired its last episode in 2004, but has experienced a strong rebirth in viewer interest thanks to streaming media.
"Friends" was the second-most streamed show on Netflix after the U.S. version of "The Office," according to Nielsen estimates. The show is moving to WarnerMedia's HBO Max streaming service that's due to roll out in May, giving Netflix another rival in a crowded market for over-the-top platforms.
With the app, Warner Bros. and partner Double A Labs are layering in several mobile elements, including AR and custom stickers, that tend to resonate with millennials, who are old enough to have watched "Friends" in its original TV run and have nostalgia for the series. The AR filters, which appear similar to virtual camera lens offerings on apps like Snapchat and Instagram, help users recreate notorious scenes from the sitcom, including one where the character Joey gets a turkey stuck on his head as part of a prank gone awry.
Warner Bros.' 25th anniversary promotion for "Friends" has also included a month-long pop-up experience in New York City. Tickets for the event the sold out within a few hours of going live, Adweek reported. The "Friends" experience let attendees step into recreations of memorable scenes, see costumes and props from the original series and sit in a re-created set from the show's coffee house.
By creating its own app, Warner Bros. can provide a dedicated experience for fans of the show that can last longer than something like a social media campaign. The app lets people create user-generated content like selfies and decorated images, and then share them online. That sharing underpins viral publicity and could spur other people to download the app and participate in the experience.