Whether observing a colorful sunset or a sea of humanity in downtown, has Kansas City ever left you speechless?
Well — in those trying times of need — one Kansas City firm is helping residents express themselves when words simply will not suffice.
“One of the most evident things that I’ve noticed is that people in Kansas City love Kansas City. This is our way of extending that and keeping that going.” – Elliot Wiersgalla
Kansas City-based ad agency Single Wing Creative recently released “Emoji My City,” a free, mobile keyboard app that features Kansas City-centric emojis, stickers and GIFs. While currently limited to local landmarks, culture and sports teams, the company plans to push the keyboard to other businesses to help area brands reach consumers in a new way.
“This is really a way to show some love for Kansas City in a new, exciting way,” said Elliot Wiersgalla, digital strategist with Single Wing Creative. “It’s a fun project, and there’s nothing else quite like it on the market and I think that works in our favor. … One of the most evident things that I’ve noticed is that people in Kansas City love Kansas City. This is our way of extending that and keeping that going.”
Available on iOS and Android devices, the keyboard features such graphics as the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, downtown Kansas City, 18th & Vine, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Union Station, Kansas City Royals and more. GIFs — a file type that supports both animated and static images — on the keyboard include Kansas City barbecue, the streetcar and a Kansas City heart.
Led by founder Emily Elmore, Single Wing Creative designed the emojis, while the keyboard itself was developed by Swyft Media. Single Wing anticipates more than 160,000 downloads of the keyboard by year’s end, thanks in part to its partnership with Swyft Media. Emoji My City plans to expand its offerings next to Las Vegas and perhaps Chicago afterward, Wiersgalla said.
Wiersgalla added that the company plans to partner with Kansas City companies to create brand-specific emojis. The firm hopes that the emojis will create value for partnering businesses by engaging their customers in a creative way.
Residents’ rich civic pride makes Kansas City an ideal test market, Wiersgalla said.
“Kansas City is the perfect launching ground for this,” he said. “Our eventual goal is to partner with Kansas City businesses to be included on the keyboard — restaurants, museums, breweries — so they can have their own customized emojis to keep their customers talking about their brands in a new, exciting way.”