The emoji company GmbH, one of the world’s top 150 licensors, and WildBrain, a global leader in kids’ and family entertainment, have forged a far-reaching content and licensing partnership to launch emojitown, a brand new digital-first series and consumer products extension of emoji – The Iconic Brand. Under the partnership, WildBrain’s leading AVOD network and digital studio, WildBrain Spark, has teamed up with emoji company to co-develop and co-produce emojitown, a 52 x 2′ 2D series, which is targeted at teens and young adults.
“Building on our strong relationship with the emoji company, this expanded partnership combines the strengths of the much-loved emoji brand with our creative and collaborative capabilities across consumer products licensing, digital-content production and AVOD management,” said Maarten Weck, EVP & MD of WildBrain CPLG.
WildBrain Spark, which holds exclusive global distribution rights to the new series, will premiere emojitown on YouTube with a dedicated channel launching at the end of May, when viewers will be able to enjoy the first four episodes of the fast-paced, language-agnostic show, followed by additional episodes rolling out weekly. Tapping into its expertise in brand management on YouTube, WildBrain Spark and the emoji company have created emojitown for AVOD audiences and is supporting the series with extensive digital- marketing, paid-media campaigns and dedicated social-media strategies. WildBrain Spark will also exclusively handle branded content opportunities and advertising sales for emojitown on YouTube.
The series is set in emojitown, a place not unlike a lot of other modern-day urban “everytowns” – except everyone has an emoji icon for a head. In emojitown, we see daily struggles and nightmares ranging from the mundane to the absurd: The perils of dating apps, the instant regret of a DIY haircut, the cringe of a poolside bikini fail and more, are all played out with sharp hilarity in vibrant 2D animation.
The “everyday horrors” of modern life are related through Jo, a fresh-faced girl in her late teens who tries “live her best life” with a cheery, optimistic outlook — no matter what emojitown throws at her. Along with Jaya, Jon, Jess, Jay, Julia and Joanie, plus the bizarre duo of Poophead and Unicorn Man, the colorful characters of emojitown represent “real people” – the kind we see and meet every day, reflecting attitudes, style, ethnicity, gender, ability and sexuality as diverse and representative as real life.
Additionally, WildBrain’s leading global licensing agency, WildBrain CPLG, will handle worldwide licensing and merchandising rights for emojitown, building on the agency’s extensive and highly successful program for the emoji brand across the U.K., Europe, the Middle East and other territories. WildBrain CPLG will work with emoji company and licensees to develop emojitown products across key categories for teens and young adults.
“This is a significant development for the emoji brand, bringing our globally recognizable icons into the digital-content space,” said Marco Huesges, Founder & CEO, emoji company. “With their preeminent reputation on digital platforms, including YouTube, and their deep understanding of licensing and brand amplification, WildBrain Spark and WildBrain CPLG are the ideal collaborators for our push into new content creation and consumer products for the teen and young-adult audience. Together we will take this hugely exciting step in the evolution of emoji.”
Rachel Taylor, Commercial Director of WildBrain Spark, added, “With its universal appeal, the emoji brand is ideal for the creation of an animated digital-first content offering, and our creative team has produced a funny, wry and edgy series, underpinned by bespoke data and insights drawn from our premium YouTube network. We’re delighted that the emoji company saw us as the right partner to co- develop and launch this extension of its brand for today’s digital-savvy audience of modern teens.”