- The best-selling book series "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" is coming to mobile devices with digital content that fans can share on social media, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- To help promote the recent release of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid 14: Wrecking Ball," author Jeff Kinney's company enlisted digital studio Bare Tree Media to create augmented reality (AR) filters that fans can access on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
- The companies collaborated with Baidu, the Chinese web services giant, to create digital stickers based on character illustrations in "Wimpy Kid" books that fans can share in the Baidu's keyboard apps worldwide, including Facemoji in the U.S., Simeji in Japan and Baidu IME in China.
"Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books are recommended for ages seven and older, when many kids are already aware of how to use smartphones and tablets, as studies have suggested. By creating digital content for its audience, "Wimpy Kid" is giving fans another creative tool to express their enthusiasm for the book series on mobile devices.
Social media companies typically discourage kids younger than 13 from setting up accounts because of child-privacy protections, but they have no way of verifying the ages of users. "Wimpy Kid" may also have older fans who want to use the digital stickers in the posts and messages.
For entertainment properties like "Wimpy Kid," Facemoji can be an effective marketing tool when used in an engaging way to grab attention and let people add more emotion to messages. Baidu's Facemoji Keyboard generated buzz for movie studio Paramount in late 2018 with interactive content inspired by "Bumblebee," the most recent "Transformers" sequel. Facemoji also 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.
Facemoji have become more popular since Apple introduced animoji with the rollout of the iPhone X in 2018. The company ran several ad campaigns that played upon the fad of animoji karaoke, including two spots that aired during the 2018 Grammy Awards. Rival electronics maker Samsung introduced an AR emoji feature on Galaxy S9 smartphones the same year.
The popularity of animoji led third-party software developers to create apps that have face-recording features. The U.S. Forest Service last year reimagined its Smokey Bear mascot as an animated emoji for several public service announcements.