Earlier this year, Snapchat shelled out $100 million for Bitstrips, a company that makes personalized comic strips and emoji. Called “Bitmoji,” the custom-tailored expressions are now available for Snapchat integration. Users must simply download the Bitmoji app on either Android or iOS and link the account with their Snapchat profile.
So, why is this a big deal? Although more and more brands are using emoji to convey ideas to their audiences, Bitmoji is more flexible, adding flair to spice up those disappearing messages. The personalized cartoons are available for both snaps and chat, encouraging users to be creative in how they engage with others. Another feature that sets Bitmoji apart from other emoji keyboards is the fact that you can utilize cartoon versions of your friends, as well, so long as they have made a Bitmoji version of themselves.
Snapchat is a rising star in the world of marketing, particularly in the use of branded lenses. According to a Demandware study, 72 percent of US beauty brands are testing a form of “guided selling” to push sales, like Snapchat lenses and augmented reality.
In May, 20th Century Fox staged the first-ever, complete lens takeover to promote X-Men: Apocalypse. For online underwear brand MeUndies, demonstrating their products in funny, “brief” ways has proved incredibly effective. In a video ad called “Lounge Off,” two members of the team modeled the brand’s new tie-dyed lounge pants in some seemingly uncomfortable places like on top of tables, and in the street. Using a call-to-action with vanity URLs, the company saw a conversion rate of 16 percent on Snapchat traffic in June.
As for Bitmoji, the addition of these custom cartoons to Snapchat offers both opportunity and challenges for brands. A study by AppBoy found that in general, people respond well to emoji-based marketing. The poll found that overall, 52 percent find their use to be fun or relatable. However, it’s important to note the remaining 47 percent of those surveyed range from a resounding “meh” to downright disgusted. People over 45 years of age were most opposed to emoji messaging in ads, while those between the ages of 25 and 44 find them to be the most fun.
As always, the use of a popular marketing tactic comes down to knowing the target audience a bit better.