Talking Kimoji: 5 Questions with Brand Behind Those Dancing Kims

We spoke to the company behind animated Kimojis to find out the secret of Kimoji’s success, what brands need to know about custom keyboards, avatars, and more…

At their developer event this year, Apple jokingly said “the children of tomorrow will have no understanding of the English language.” While they might have been exaggerating, there is no doubt that communication has transformed for young consumers, shifting away from text to photos, videos, and, of course, emojis. As this visual language has skyrocketed in usage, they’ve provided a new pathway for marketers to reach the coveted young consumer audience. As one expert explains, custom emojis are “tiny, adorable commercials.” 

Celebrity mogul Kim Kardashian’s custom emoji app Kimoji is the greatest example of the booming emoji business. For those who aren’t familiar, Kimoji is an app of Kim K-themed emojis, stickers, and GIFs that include references to the star’s life, loved ones, and TV show. The wildly popular platform is currently number two on the Entertainment App chart, and continually introduces additional packs of emojis for an increasing number of fans to use in chats and collect. The most recent update included “Kimogifs”: animated Kimojis created with the help of avatar chat platform IMVU, which was approached by Kim and Kanye to create expressive, authentic Kimoji content. Thanks to IMVU’s avatar technology, Kimojis have gone from static to animated. Users can now send moving icons like dancing Kim Kardashian and jump roping Kylie Jenner in their messages, which gyrate (and more) on their screens.

IMVU has 160 million registered accounts on their own platform, an online community that allows users to customize their own avatars, which then interact and chat. Now, they’ve launched a new 3D mobile app and iOS…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Retail should be a facilitator for experience, rather than just selling product.”—Sharmandean Reid, Founder, Wah Nails London (YPulse)

Millennials seeking portable booze are cracking open canned wine. Even though the category still only accounts for less than 1% of the Millennial-favorite alcoholic beverages’ market, Nielsen reports it spiked 69% last year and continues to gain ground. An exec at Delicato Family Wines explains, “Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.” (Wine Spectator)

Summer camps are cropping up to teach kids how to become YouTubers. At I-D Tech Camps, Level Up, and Star Camps, kids can learn all about how to, as the latter puts it, “Become an Internet sensation.” They offer courses in how to create and post videos, from shooting clips to editing audio, and how to build their personal brand. But don’t worry, most are framing YouTubing as a hobby, not a career, and setting kids’ expectations accordingly. (WSJ)

A new bill could change the free-to-play profit model that’s made games like Fortnite top earners. Senators have proposed the official ban of “loot boxes,” or items that players can buy (and sometimes must buy) to win a video game, often gambling on what’s inside. Senator Ed Markey explains that “Inherently manipulative game features that take advantage of kids and turn play time into pay time should be out of bounds.” For some, this will eliminate a key revenue stream and open the door to review other in-game purchases.  (The Verge)

A social media overhaul upped Corn Nuts’ sales by 12%—with no paid support.The snack’s sales were stagnant before a new exec took over their Twitter, infusing it with the personable tone food brands have become known for (and sometimes notorious for). Since then, followers spiked from 650 to 21,000, and what they’re calling a “scrappy” strategy “absolutely translated to sales,” reporting that retail sales spiked 12% and Millennials’ repeat purchases rose the same percentage. (Marketing Dive)

The retail apocalypse continues, with 7,000 more stores closing their doors in 2019. CoStar Group estimates that the square footage of retail space closed has topped its own record each year since 2017, and this year they’re “predicting more of the same.” PayLess ShoeSource, Gymboree, Dressbarn, and Charlotte Russe lead the list of number stores planned to shutter this year, as retailers learn to scale down size and up Experiencification for young shoppers. (Business Insider

Quote of the Day: “It’s a really interesting time at the moment in catalog [music]…Sometimes, it’s a question of how we make something out of nothing.”—Tim Fraser-Harding, President, Global Catalogue, Recorded Music at Warner Music Group (Rolling Stone)

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