Wimpy Kid, Inc Expands Digital Engagement with Augmented Reality and Sticker Keyboards

Boston, MA – January 24, 2020 – Fellow Massachusetts-based companies Wimpy Kid, Inc. and Bare Tree Media Inc., expanded their digital partnership with the introduction of augmented reality social media effects and a global expansion of their stickers within keyboard mobile applications.

To kick off 2020, Bare Tree Media designed and released three augmented reality effects themed around the latest installment in the popular middle-grade series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 14: Wrecking Ball. The AR effects offer users the ability to insert a swinging virtual wrecking ball into their camera scene and then wreck, record, and share a real world scene of their choice. The AR filters are available to engage Wimpy Kid fans on popular messaging platforms, Facebook and Instagram, and as an AR lens on Snapchat.

Bare Tree Media also expanded their Wimpy Kid-branded digital presence to include digital stickers released within Baidu’s keyboard apps worldwide, including Facemoji Keyboard in the United States, Simeji in Japan, and Baidu IME in China.

‘Augmented reality is a great marketing platform for brands to engage audiences, and a perfect fit for the Wimpy Kid fanbase to create and share their special moments with a wrecking ball,” said Bob Ferrari, CEO of Bare Tree Media. “We are also very excited to expand sticker distribution through Baidu in key markets around the world.” 

“We are delighted to be kicking off 2020 by launching these stickers with Bare Tree Media and Wimpy Kid, Inc.,” said Josh Fenn, Senior Marketing Manager at Baidu. “Now, our keyboard app users around the world can all enjoy Wimpy Kid’s uniquely charming brand of humor when they chat with their friends online.”

“I’ve loved seeing fans around the globe engage with the Wimpy Kid brand using our existing emoji-style stickers. This year, we wanted to expand the Wimpy Kid universe and I’m thrilled to have the brand-new augmented reality and sticker formats on major global platforms. I’m really looking forward to seeing where Greg can go with his fans in 2020!” said Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

About Bare Tree Media

Bare Tree Media enables brands to reach, engage and entertain consumers through the creation and digital publishing of branded emojis, messaging stickers, GIFs and augmented reality. As a pioneer in the digital creative and technology sector, Bare Tree Media has worked with many brands including: 20th Century Fox, ABC Television, American Greetings, Baidu, CBS Interactive, Disney, Duracell, Facebook, Giphy, Instagram, King Features, Life is Good, Lionsgate, Mars-Wrigley, MuscleTech, Paws Inc, P&G, NBC Universal, New England Patriots, Snapchat, Snap-On Tools, SONY Television Pictures, Twitter, Warner Bros, Wimpy Kid, 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 Baidu’s Global Business Unit

Baidu’s Global Business Unit (GBU) is focused on bridging the gap between Eastern and Western markets with its consumer and business-focused internet products and services. Baidu GBU’s product portfolio features keyboard apps Simeji and Facemoji Keyboard, content recommendation platform popIn, and ad platform MediaGo, which serves Chinese advertisers looking to reach consumers overseas. Baidu GBU offers its products and services worldwide, including in the United States, Greater China, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. For more information, please contact us at: gbu_us@baidu.com

About Diary of a Wimpy Kid

The fourteenth installment in the series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball, was published on November 5, 2019, and immediately hit #1 on the USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times bestseller lists.

2019 marked the first publication of a spin-off book, Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid, which was published in April 2019 and also immediately reached #1 on all three national bestseller lists (New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal). ABRAMS also recently released Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Best Friends Box, a box set containing Diary of a Wimpy Kid #1 and Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid, and The Wimpy Kid 2020 Wall Calendar.

The series continues to reach new heights globally. This fall, Kinney visited seven countries on his international tour, including France, where he was made an officer of the Order of Arts and Letters, one of the country’s highest cultural honors. Both Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball and Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid ranked #1 in every country in which they were published, including in the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and Germany. The series is now published in 64 languages and 76 editions.

More than 200 million copies of the books in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series have been sold globally. Published in 2007, the first book was an instant bestseller and has remained on the New York Times bestseller list since its publication and through the release of the fourteenth book, for more than 686 weeks total.

About the Author

Jeff Kinney is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and a six-time Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award winner for Favorite Book for his Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Jeff has been named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. He is also the creator of Poptropica, which was named one of Time’s 50 Best Websites. He spent his childhood in the Washington, D.C., area and moved to New England in 1995. Jeff lives with his wife and two sons in Massachusetts, where they own a bookstore, An Unlikely Story. For more about Wimpy Kid visit wimpykid.com.


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 and other upcoming titles, 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!


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!