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Special Project

Special Project
From the 9th Annual Shorty Awards


Winner in Entertainment Apps

About this entry

Our goal when creating the PetMOJI native mobile application was to connect people to the film "The Secret Life of Pets" through their own pets. Users download the app to their phone, and it allows them to turn their pets into emojis. The app provides a way for users to play with the content and engage in a deeper, more meaningful way with the movie brand. Once users have created their PetMOJIs, they can share their expressions with friends via social media, SMS, email or any other platform that supports images.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

Our tool had to be fun, useful and easy to use. Making the 'petmojis' feel personal and sharable was essential.

When building the app we were focused on making it as simple and streamlined as possible for pet owners to make a dog or cat that looks like their very own pet. To do this we needed to have as much variety as possible, which involved a lot of pre-planning to build out an incredibly detailed work-flow and a separate back-end tool to enable us to have as many individual eyes, ears, noses, fur patterns etc would fit on all the various body sizes of the different dogs and cats in all of the different poses in the various emojis. Because of the structure we set up at the beginning of the projects our tool literally enables over a billion different combinations of features on the avatars.

To achieve this level of customizability, we needed to create hundreds of illustrations and use code to dynamically piece the pets together and then pose them for each of the different emoji expressions. The dogs and cats sit up, lie down, stick out their tongues, etc.

Knowing that pet lovers often have more than one pet, the app also allows people to build and save several different custom pets and they can easily switch back and forth between them when sharing petmojis with their friends and family.

The app launched with a set of free custom 'petmojis' as well as a set using characters from the film. These could be shared via text using a custom keyboard or through social media channels from within the app.


PetMOJI reached #1 "Apps we love", in the Apple App Store. It became the second most downloaded app in the entertainment category. It reached 23 over all in the Apple App Store. PetMOJI saw over 400,000 downloads with over 110,000 registered users and over 1,000,000 PetMOJIs created in 10 days.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

TVGla, Universal Pictures

Entry Credits