What began as a shortcut for happiness, evolved into a cultural movement in the late 20th century and now, acts as a symbol for self-expression and positivity at the heart of culture and society. Starting out in 1972 when the Loufrani family launched the iconic and original Smiley in a newspaper promotion to simply remind people to “Take Time To Smile”. From this humble beginning The Smiley Company was founded, a business with an ambition to spread positivity and establish happiness as the core value at the heart of everything the company did. In the time since Smiley has become a lifestyle that is synonymous with happiness and cool, that has been embraced by the world with open arms. Today as a top global lifestyle licensing brand, Smiley works with a network of global partners to help brands create unique experiences to transform properties and events into unforgettable memories.
Langham place - Egg Café - Hong Kong
Smiley was quickly adopted by the worlds of art, fashion music and popular culture, the brands deep-rooted connection with counter cultures and timeless appeal ensures that the brand constantly resurfaces in culturally significant contexts for over 45 years. From featuring on the iconic artwork for Talking Heads and cameos in Banksy’s Flying Copper, DC Comic’s Suicide Squad and even best-selling video game Battlefield. Smiley has even managed to play a lead role in the London Olympics 2012 opening ceremony, featuring in the Danny Boyle directed masterpiece, as the show paid homage to the influence Smiley has had on British music culture for decades.
London 2012 Olympics
These links remain as strong today, as Smiley continues to be embraced as a powerful marketing message by leading artists including Ed Sheeran, Fatboy Slim and Paramore. Smiley is an authentic connector for consumers to three of the most important consumer trends in popular culture today; happiness, emoticons and music. Four decades, Smiley has become more than just an icon, a lifestyle brand and a favourite with the world’s leading tastemakers, collaborating with leading luxury brands from Fendi and Moschino to streetwear brand Ami Paris.
Fendi - window display
In recent years Smiley has been honing its marketing promotions skills and focussing on retail activations and shopping mall experiences, which allow the brand to amplify its positive message whilst bringing its vast library of over 3,000 Smiley icons to life. By adopting a variety of different activation tactics that continue to thrill consumers globally, from gamifications apps to augmented reality photo opportunities, pop-up shops to photobooths, all with the a life size Smiley icon, creating a focal point for the campaigns world-wide. Smiley has created Café concepts, children’s playground and even a small-scale amusement park, as it continues to exercise its creative panache in executing 360-degree immersive experiences. These experiences continue to not only pop up in the world’s most prestigious retail environments like; Liberty London, Le Bon Marché, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges, but also in densely populated retail destinations such as Viviana Mall Mumbai, Indigo Mall Beijing, Galaxy Macau, Hysan Place Hong Kong and even Hyundai Malls across Korea.
Perhaps Smiley’s tour de force of activations this year however was a partnership at this Summer’s Elrow Town Festival in Antwerp, Amsterdam and London and the creation of a custom-built pool, adorned with Smiley faces and filled with thousands of yellow balls. This created an oasis of happiness, mixing a pool party vibe with a happiness theme to create something that truly exuded both Smiley and Elrow’s unique identities and DNA’s.
Hyundai Department Store - South Korea 20 departments store