Farmoji: bringing farm life to a smartphone near you

Think Shift launched Farmoji for the Apple App Store in 2016. As an ad agency specializing in agri-marketing, we decided to capture the goodness of purple gas, red solo cups and oh-so-common cow pies in emoji form as a fun way to give back to our heartland roots.

The Opportunity

“In our agency work, we connect with a lot of audiences in agriculture and find that sometimes the rural way of life gets passed over in tech and mainstream media,” said Alex Varricchio, VP of Creative Services. Our creative team is always looking for new ways to connect with our ag audience, and we knew they would love seeing their way of life represented in mainstream technology. Our big idea? Launching a farm-inspired set of emojis. Though we’d never attempted anything like it before, we were excited to create something the community would really enjoy.

The Approach

At the time, the only way to create custom emojis was to build a keyboard extension. Unfortunately, this process was incredibly complex, forcing consumers to accept App permissions that seemed risky, undergo a complicated keyboard install process and copy-paste the stickers from the keyboard into their messages.

However, we knew consumer interest was there. So we forged on, creating a tutorial to accompany the keyboard. Once we were nearly finished with the extension, iOS 10 launched, and with it, a new feature: sticker packs.

Stickers were the new, simple way to create emojis, so we decided to go with it. We scrapped the keyboard extension entirely and packaged up our 200+ original emojis as stickers. Though it was disappointing to have worked on a keyboard extension that never got launched, we were excited to deliver the user-friendly experience we had envisioned all along.

The Result

A tweet from one enthusiastic ag writer says it all: “Farmojis were the best part of 2016!” Shortly after its launch in 2016, Farmoji was featured in the App Store as one of the top 5 free sticker packs, and a recent report shows 3,275 downloads and counting.

In addition to positive feedback, the Think Shift team gained invaluable experience in learning a new system. Says Alex: “Every day there are new channels put out there to help you better connect with your customers and stakeholders. Sometimes the best thing to do is jump in head first and try things out. There aren’t case studies or previously set methodologies to follow, but that’s part of the fun.”

You can download Farmojis from the App Store, or learn more at farmojistickers.com.