Emoji Movie billboards react to traffic and weather

No matter what emoji the Emoji Movie makes you want to use, it debuts Friday (July 28) – and is expected to generate $25m to $30m in ticket sales in the US and Canada opening weekend.

And as it seeks to wrest the #1 spot at the box office from Christopher Nolan’s World War II drama Dunkirk, Sony has tapped Lamar Advertising for a digital out of home campaign in Dallas, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, Seattle, Atlanta, Boston and Orlando in which emoji billboards display a contextually relevant ad triggered by current traffic and weather conditions.

In the movie, Gene, an emoji with multiple expressions, enlists his best friend Hi-5 and the codebreaker Jailbreak on “an epic adventure through the apps on a teenager's phone.”

As such, Gene, Hi-5 and Jailbreak are featured together in a generic billboard that runs between the triggers:

However, when traffic is congested, consumers see:

When traffic is clear, this billboard runs:

When it is 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 21 Celsius) and sunny, Lamar displays:

When it is 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 Celsius) or warmer, it’s:

And, when it is raining, this ad runs:

Lamar had similar weather-triggered billboards for the Baywatch movie. The Emoji Movie billboards are up through July 30.

The movie stars TJ Miller, James Corden, Anna Faris and Maya Rudolph, among others. Apps making cameos include Candy Crush Saga, Dropbox, Instagram, Just Dance, Spotify, Twitter, YouTube, Crackle, Facebook, Shazam, Snapchat and Twitch.

And in perhaps the most unexpected brand tie-up so far, luxury department store Saks Fifth Avenue has reportedly partnered with designers Jason Wu, Mackage, Del Toro Footwear, Orlebar Brown, Gents and Havianas to create high-end Emoji Movie merchandise, including swimsuits, flip-flops, bomber jackets and sweaters with removable emojis.