By Jennifer Atanasoff
You’ve heard of celebrity emoji apps, like Kim Kardashian’s “KIMOJI” app. You’ve used these apps, probably for Snapchat or text messaging your friends. You’ve probably made fun of them because they are so ridiculous and most popular celebrities have their own version. Even lesser known celebrities and not-really celebrities have them, like Blac Chyna and that girl from Dr. Phil, Danielle Bregoli. And they are making A TON of money off these apps. Celebrities are developing their own emoji apps, featuring photos of themselves, sayings they use, and popular culture references. Besides making some extra cash, why are so many celebrities making their own emoji apps?
According to Emily Morris, director of cultural insights at the branding company TruthCo., states that this is a marketing strategy by celebrities and their managers. Celebrities are releasing their own, personalized emoji apps to share with their fans. This concept connects the celebrities to their fans on a more personalized level and helps their celebrity brand image.
Celebrities, or their smart managers, realized that their fans are already using emojis that they’ve personalized to look like themselves, called Bitmojis, that connect to their Snapchat and messages.
Oliver Camilo, founder of Moji Inc., has worked on apps with celebrities like Fetty Wap and Amber Rose. Camilo states that this is a “numbers game“. He said that Amber Rose hit the number one top paid app in the Apple store within sixty to ninety minutes after the launch of her app. After that, it was validated that celebrities can earn a lot of money off these apps.
“You text your friend an emoji of Rick Ross crying and Rick Ross just got free marketing.”
Similarly, Rajiv Menon, of TruthCo., explains that these personalized emojis are allowing celebrities to take back control of their branding, as well as the dialogue that surrounds their brand, especially when they are constantly updating their app with new expressions and staying relevant to their fans and consumers.
Oliver Camilo related Emoji apps to celebrities having Instagram or Twitter accounts. He states that this is just where we are in culture today.