marketing stickers and gifs

Six Reasons Stickers & GIFs are Effective for Marketing

Marketing is constantly evolving around the consumer, and during the Age of Technology it’s evolving at a more rapid pace ever; it can be difficult for marketers to know whether or not they’re on the uptake or being left behind. Perhaps the most underrated game-changing tool for marketers are animated stickers and GIFs. Although many still use video, this format is frankly out of date for the modern internet user. According to a survey conducted by Harris Poll, a whopping 71% of Americans would rather send a digital sticker over a block of text. With such a large user base, it’s no surprise more and more companies have been seizing the opportunity to make branded stickers and GIFs to seamlessly integrate their brand into their consumer’s daily life. We partner with these companies to make their brand come alive within mobile conversations. However, not all companies are aware of the wide gamut of opportunities afforded to them across platforms or the sheer flexibility stickers and GIFs inherently have.

1. Custom Twitter Emojis that create trending hashtags:

Companies can pay Twitter to attach a custom emoji to a Twitter hashtag for a period of time. Then, whenever someone uses their hashtag the emoji automatically comes with it! The brand’s hashtag instantly stands out with its unique emoji and helps create a community around the product.

Recently, we collaborated with Disney on a campaign for Christopher Robin, including creating a range of twitter emojis to promote the film and make the hashtags appealing, relevant, and most importantly create the cute Pooh-bear association to the Christopher Robin movie in people’s minds. We managed the storyboarding, sketching, and illustration for these emojis.

2. Clickable Branded Stickers:

A branded sticker campaign’s main objective is to organically increase brand awareness and engagement. To that end, stickers are a revolutionary tool because it enables marketers to have their brand present in their customers everyday conversations across mobile. In other words, their brand becomes a permanent part of their customer’s life.

A good example of this is Lovate Health’s MuscleTech stickers, promoting their MuscleTech brand of products. These stickers are centered around and cater directly to the consumer base that uses MuscleTech products; as a result, they end up using them a lot because the sentiments and in-jokes are relevant to them. This entrenches MuscleTech further into the community in a feedback loop that keeps both the company and the consumer happy, and helps new initiates to the community naturally find their product in a sea of competitors.

Lovate Health has taken it even further by making their stickers clickable. These stickers, when sent, allow the receiver or sender to click the sticker and be redirected to a website, the app, or the app store. This is brilliant because users are able to interact with the images being received and has quick access to the company’s brand. They also allow people to send links to products they enjoy in a fun way!

3. Sticker Markets on Messengers:

Stickers and messengers go hand-in-hand, creating a demand for sticker marketplaces, which offer a wide variety of branded emojis and keyboard and almost functions as an advertising playground.

In 2016, around 50% of all mobile users used at least one form of mobile messenger, according to Stastia. The fact that since then, messenger apps continue to add free features like video calls, encryption and social media means that usage has only been increasing. Sticker marketplaces have also grown in kind, and many of mobile messengers have created their own sticker markets that draw users to their specific platform.  

Apple and Facebook are leaders in this industry with their respective iMessage and Messenger platforms; in total, over 1 billion stickers sent on them. We’ve  has observed the intense popularity of stickers it created for the mobile game Plants Vs. Zombies, which had 1 million downloads 4 days, and 2.5 million downloads in a week with over 100 million impressions.

4. Everyone is a Brand Ambassador:

This was touched upon briefly in point number two, but one of a branded sticker’s major selling points is the seamless integration into a consumer’s life: in other words, converting that customer into a brand ambassador.

This is one of the most effective ways of creating brand ambassadors because people are sending these stickers to their friends organically; they love the content and they are spreading the brand to all of their friends in a win-win scenario. Furthermore, people who are friends tend to be in similar target markets, which means having stickers so your customers can share your brand with their friends is the ideal way to spread your brand.

5. They Can Reach New Audiences

Stickers are an important bridge that connects companies to a younger audience in a charmingly appealing way. In an age where this younger audience has been collectively groomed to ignore the millions of ads they see every day, stickers appeal as authentic and fun, leading more of this audience to be attracted to and spread your brand (in the form of stickers). Sometimes you even get people who were previously unaware of your brand but will buy sticker packs because of artistic appeal or funny witticisms, which could convert them into customers. If not, they’ll at the very least be creating more brand awareness for your brand.

6. They Have Potential for Going Viral

Some of these sticker apps/packs go viral and have millions of downloads. Although not a guarantee, the possibility is always there and because stickers are created to be spread on the internet, where the phenomenon of “going viral” first appeared and retains the farthest reach, it is a direct line to the culture that facilities going viral.

Overall, the existence of stickers as a marketing tool has opened a completely new avenue for brands and consumers to communicate through. Instead of having their message get “lost in textlation”, customers can augment their thoughts with your brand, without losing what they want to say.

Most importantly, they can do it in a way that feels fun and cool and makes them feel good, which will push them to keep doing it. People can show who they are by sending stickers of TV shows, music, or quotes they like from pop culture that curate their personality by showcasing the communities they’re a part of and appealing to others like them. In layman’s terms, stickers/GIFs are great for showing some personality!


Christopher Robin Sticker Sketch

Behind the scenes of the Christopher Robin Film's iMessage Stickers

Once upon a time in the hundred acre wood, the classic characters we all know and love needed a new look for their very own set of iMessage stickers. In anticipation of the new Christopher Robin movie, Disney approached us to create of set of stickers in line with the stuffed animal character designs of the movie.

We drew inspiration from children’s books and developed a style that resembled cut paper with distinct texture shading. We then illustrated all nine characters that were going to be in the sticker pack: Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga and Roo. This tested the style’s flexibility in rendering human characters, stuffed animals, and realistic computer generated animals.

Christopher Robin Colored Style Pitch Sticker
Style samples for different characters

Sketch Phase:

Once style direction was determined, the next step was sketching out all the stickers.

Christopher Robin Sticker Sketch
Christopher Robin Rabbit Sticker Sketch
Stickers that were going to be animated got annotations for animation direction

Color & Texture Phase:

Upon sketch approval, all stickers were colored and textured.

Christopher Robin Colored Sticker
Obi Little working on Christopher Robin Sticker

Animation Phase:

The art was then sent over to our animation team. Many were animated in After Effects but a few required special attention. Those got frame by frame treatment. Rough animation was completed to get direction approval before final rendering.

Christopher Robin Tigger Animated Process GIF
Tigger Sticker Process: (1) Simple shapes (2) Rough Animation (3) Color (4) Texture & Details

It was pleasure to work with the team at Disney and an honor to work on characters we all adore. The team looks forward to seeing the movie this Friday, August 3rd!

Check out the full sticker pack and download for your iPhone!


snapchat bitmoji gallery

Personalized Emojis are Taking Messaging by Storm

Recently, custom emojis have been sprouting up on all major messaging platforms like Apple, Google, Samsung, and Snapchat. These were started by Bitmoji, a company that allowed users to create their own personal emoji. Once Snapchat acquired Bitmoji, the race was on for all major messengers to create their own. These personal emojis are used by a wide range of age groups and are some of the most popular stickers.

Bitmoji

Bitmojis were the first personalized emojis to take messaging by storm. They were designed to fill the gap between selfies and text messages by sending a personal sticker that could express emotion. This idea took off and was acquired by Snapchat to become the avatars for all Snapchat users. Bitmojis were a massive success and are now on most major messengers as well as Snapchat. These custom stickers led to most major messengers adopting their own personalized emojis.

Bitmoji example Image
Image Source: Snapchat

Apple Memojis

Apple is currently testing their new personalized emojis that are expected to be released with iOS12 called Memojis. Previously Apple launched Animojis, which were animated stickers of the user’s facial motions illustrated by various animals. Memojis, are an extension on these animated stickers, by allowing users to use their animated character. This movement is then translated to your Memoji on your screen, creating your own personal animated sticker. The Memoji’s are completely customizable to make your own unique animated messages.

Memoji Example Image
Photo Credit: Apple Inc.

Samsung AR Emojis

Samsung Augmented Reality (AR) Emojis allow a user to create their own personalized emoji. These emojis are able to be customized with different effects that make the sticker look more cartoonish or more lifelike. Samsung also gives you the option to change the clothes of your custom sticker.

Recently, Samsung updated their AR Emojis with the addition of 18 more set stickers to add onto your emoji, making the total 36. Right after the release of these extra stickers, Samsung also announced they will be launching 18 more additional stickers soon. These personalized stickers are only available the Galaxy S9 and S9+.

However, creating custom stickers is not the only thing that AR Emoji allows a user to do. It also has a feature that brands can utilize, like Disney who released some of their classic characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck onto the platform. Then Disney followed up with a release of the Incredibles characters to promote the newly released sequel to the film.

Image Source: Samsung AR Emojis

Google Minis

Google recently announced that they are launching a keyboard add-on called Minis that allows users to send customized stickers of themselves. The user will take a picture of themselves and a digital sticker of them will be created. Google is taking a unique approach to their customizable stickers. Unlike Snapchat and Samsung, Google Minis will have packs to purchase containing different gear and backgrounds for your personal sticker. Currently, these custom stickers are only available in the Beta keyboard, however, we should expect to see them soon.

Image Source: Google


happy world emoji day

Happy World Emoji Day 2018

It is 2018, and Emojis have taken over. The once perceived “silly, childish” messaging stickers have become completely integrated into our daily conversations. Snapchat filters even let us turn ourselves into our very own Bitmoji. Emojis allow us to demonstrate feelings and emotions to a greater specificity than our words. Here at Bare Tree Media, we pride ourselves on being the original and the longest-standing emoji designer. Day in and day out, we work to give everyone the ability to say just what they want (with OR without words 😉). It seems with each new day more emojis are created by designers across the globe providing each of us with unique ways to express ourselves or just have fun!

Apple’s Custom Emojis: Memoji

World Emoji Day calls for big news, and companies have delivered. Apple Inc. announced they will be releasing Emoji 11.0 for iOS and MacOS, an emoji pack including 66 new emojis for Apple fans to enjoy in late 2018. Along with these new emojis Apple is also releasing their Bitmoji counter, Memoji. The 3D emoji will be available with iOS 12 this fall. Memoji’s are to follow-up Apple’s animated stickers that use facial recognition to overlay animal filters, Animojis. Memoji’s take the next step and allow users to create and use their custom Emoji stickers to express themselves in a unique audio-visual hybrid. With innovations like these, developers are reimagining where and how emojis can exist, proving the only way is up.

Facebook's Emoji Keyboard Stays Strong

Facebook and their messenger are one of the leaders in the emoji space, having adopted all 2,800 Unicode Emojis. Unicode is a consortium of the biggest tech companies and a few countries, who decide on what should or should not be an emoji.  Facebook once again proudly released their annual Emoji statistics, demonstrating significant increases in emoji use and engagement. Here are just some of the numbers:

  • Over 5 billion emojis are sent everyday in Messenger
  • 900 million emojis are sent on Messenger that don’t even have text
  • 700 million emojis are used in Facebook posts everyday
  • The 😂emoji is the most popular around the world
  • The ❤️emoji has doubled in usage in the past year

facebook emoji infographic
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Mark Zuckerberg)

Twitter Branded Emojis

Emojis have made their mark on our society, and now large companies are working towards making their own mark through branded emoji stickers.

Recently, Twitter teamed up with Disney to release custom emojis of the upcoming movie Christopher Robin and chose us to create them! Each of core 100 Acre Woods characters got their own little emoji to accompany their hashtag. Tweets including #ChristopherRobin, #Pooh, #Tigger, #Eeyore and #ItsPiglet grew in number. Twitter users that might not have engaged with tweets involving the Christopher Robin movie in a normal situation began tweeting about the movie. Some solely so that they could have the emojis on their feed!

Emoji Merchandise

There are now emoji clothing, pillows, an Emoji Movie, and now premiering tonight in New York City, “EmojiLand: The Musical” on Broadway just a couple theaters down from The Lion King. Many companies have realized the power of emojis, and how developing new emojis allows for each company to integrate themselves in a language rapidly growing in popularity. No one truly knows the future of emojis, but we do know it’s bright. 🌟

Join Us and Share Your Favorite Emoji with Bare Tree Media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


garfield birthday banner

Garfield Celebrates His 40th with Augmented Reality and Mobile Messaging Stickers

Boston MA – June 19 2018 – Today marks a major milestone for the world’s most beloved and lazy cat, Garfield. He turns 40 and still looks great whether napping, snacking or driving Odie and Jon crazy. To celebrate Bare Tree Media collaborated with Paws Inc to create a special 40th anniversary series of mobile messaging stickers and augmented reality effects.

iOS fans can find the 40th sticker series on iTunes for use within iMessage and as a new sticker pack added to the Garfield StickerTap app. Android fans can find the stickers in the emojiTap app and the Garfield StickerTap app on the Google Play store.

Fans active within Snapchat and Facebook can add Garfield augmented reality effects altering their identity and sharing 40th greetings using the Garfield Snapchat Lens and Garfield Facebook AR Camera Filter.

“We are excited to be part of Garfield’s 40th celebration and offer fans our digital options to join the party.” says Bob Ferrari, CEO of Bare Tree Media.

“This is a special milestone for Garfield and I am thrilled fans can have fun celebrating all month and all year long with stickers and AR.” says Jim Davis the creator of Garfield.

 

About Bare Tree Media

Bare Tree Media enables brands to engage consumers through innovative mobile messaging solutions. As a pioneer in the branded emoji sector, its partners include 20th Century Fox, ABC Television, American Greetings, CBS Interactive, Disney, DreamWorks, King Features, Life is Good, Lionsgate, NFLPA, Paws Inc, P&G, New England Patriots, SONY Television Pictures, Warner Bros, and many more. Brands interested in offering their own mobile messaging apps, stickers and augmented reality can go to www.baretreemedia.com or contact Bare Tree Media at info@baretreemedia.com.

About GARFIELD

GARFIELD was born on the comics pages on June 19, 1978. The creation of cartoonist Jim Davis, GARFIELD is a humorous strip centered on the lives of a quick-witted orange cat who loves lasagna, coffee, and his remote control; Jon Arbuckle, his owner; and Odie, a sweet but dumb dog.

Follow Garfield and Odie, along with nearly 19 million other fans, on Facebook and Twitter, Instagram, and visit www.garfield.com and Garfield’s free educational site, professorgarfield.org.


swiffer illustrated messaging sticker

Mastering the Art of Adulting

Whether you are moving into a new home, adopting your first pet or figuring out how to create a monthly budget, adulthood is full of milestones big and small. A huge part of becoming an adult is learning how to clean up after yourself – and others – and maybe realizing you actually get excited about having...


patriots gronk animated messaging sticker

Emoji and Sticker Marketing: How Gronk Became Gronkmoji

Emoji and Sticker Marketing: How Gronk Became Gronkmoji

In 2016 more than 6 billion emojis and stickers were sent every day on mobile messaging apps.  Between 2015 and 2016, there was a 609% year-over-year growth of branded campaigns using emojis and stickers.  It’s no wonder major brands including the NFL have jumped on the opportunity to engage with their audience through custom branded emojis and stickers. According to Jana Gauthier, director of digital media for the New England Patriots, “It’s not always the best idea to force consumers to go to your owned and operated platforms; it helps more to be where they are.” {source: https://digiday.com/marketing/branded-stickers-new-branded-emoji-keyboards/}

From Gronk to Gronkmoji

Bare Tree Media’s designer, Jessica Lindsay, had the chance to work with the NFL Players Association team when designing Gronkmoji.

When designing the Gronk stickers it was very important to capture his likeness and personality. Gronk is a very fun loving guy so we wanted that to come across in his stickers. That especially is prominent in the series of “Spike!” stickers that we did, referencing his willingness to “Gronk [or spike] anything for charity. Gronk-spike is a very important aspect of his character and it was fun to incorporate that in his stickers by animating him spiking all sorts of things including a football, watermelon, beach ball, and a pizza. The pizza spike is definitely my favorite.”

Emoji and Sticker Marketing Trends

1. Relatable & Emotional Message

The most successful sticker designs are often those that convey a very relatable emotion or message. It’s important when designing a sticker to think about what emotion or message the sticker will be conveying.

2. Variety of Use

The more variety of use cases you can think of the better. It shows that there are more opportunities for people to use your sticker and it will be more relatable to a greater number of people.

3. Animation

Animation is all the rage right now. If a sticker pack isn’t animated, users are often disappointed. For branded characters, a lot of companies are choosing to go in a heavily stylized depiction of their characters with flat shading and lighter colors. This direction is an attempt to broaden the appeal to more users.

Are you ready to create your brands custom sticker and emoji?

For more information on how your brand can stay ahead of the competition in 2018, contact Bare Tree Media or fill out a Contact Us form. We look forward to hearing from you.