Followers of Drag Race no doubt remember that memorable moment when Violet Chachki walked the runway in a chic black sequined dress, only to reveal with the snap of a button that underneath was an amazing plaid ensemble.
That moment was one of Drag Race‘s most shared on social media, with some 14 million shares across multiple social media platforms. Wouldn’t it be great if viewers could also share that moment outside the confines of social media?
That’s the premise of Snaps’ branded emoji and GIF keyboards for messaging platforms, a company that today announced $6.5 million in raised venture funding. The company helps brands create keyboards that reflect either their product offering or memorable moments from a piece of programming.
The keyboards work on top of Tango, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and iMessage, and are deeply integrated with Canvas and Kik.
Already the company has worked with Burger King and Comedy Central’s Broad City to increase brand awareness with consumers and, more importantly, give them something fun to share with one another. Now, Snaps says it has a slew of heavyweight corporate clients all clamoring for its branded keyboards, including Logo (which owns Drag Race), Victoria’s Secret, Sony Pictures Entertainment, VH1, and Time Inc.
Stephen Fishbach, VP of digital at Logo, spends a lot of time crafting experiences for superfans of RuPaul’s Drag Race. He said what’s so compelling about emoji keyboards is the ability to be where viewers and consumers are.
“Text is the de facto way for our viewers to communicate,” said Fishbach. “They’re already using these catch phrases, so we take it to the next level: give them GIFs, give them emojis to help them out.”
Logo distributes media content to all the various social media channels already, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. But getting to viewers in chat allows for more intimate sharing — just the kind of engagement brands want.
There are of course others on the market supplying branded emojis and stickers, like Swyft Media. But the opportunity for these companies is still large.
People send 50 billion text messages a day, according to Christian Brucculeri, CEO of Snaps. He said that on average, people who download a Snaps keyboard share 16 pieces of content.
He also said the opportunity for stickers and emojis goes beyond media brands. For instance, Snaps clients can create shareable coupons and discounts that are essentially stickers (promojis, if you will) that give consumers another reason to shop.
At the end of the day, the keyboard is about driving engagement in a way that goes beyond advertising into the places where consumers are having intimate conversations.