The new emojis, which Skype’s dubbed “Mojis,” draw inspiration from Paul McCartney’s timeless classics to represent specific, romantic emotions. Each loops endlessly to distinctive, 5-second motifs that comprise sound effects and no-frills tunes arranged by McCartney himself. Not-so-conspicuously timed ahead of Valentine’s Day weekend, the animations are of the forwardly intimate variety: one, “Excited Octopus,” features a many-tentacled character presenting flowers, champagne, chocolate, and seductively fuzzy handcuffs to its recipient. Another, an anthropomorphic banana, slowly, teasingly strips off its peel.
Interestingly, the partnership with Skype isn’t McCartney first foray into emoticons, or even messaging platforms. In 2013 for Japan-based service LINE, he produced three sets of self-portraits with expressive captions (“Wonderful! Great job!”) paired with recorded phrases. They’ve been used 11 million times, McCartney told Wired.
But the music’s the draw this time around. The chimes that accompany Skype’s Moji, with redolent titles such as “In Love,” “Miss You,” “Solo and Loving it,” and “Flirting,” feature a surprising depth of instruments: acoustic guitar, reverberating piano, electronic synthesizers, and McCartney’s voice. “I ran right through [them], and gave my first thought as to what the interpretation in music would be of [a] certain emotion,” he told Wired. “I got totally into it, I got amazingly intrigued and challenged with it.”
That said, McCartney didn’t take the task too seriously. “It is actually a fun thing really than deadly earnest,” he told Wired. And that’s just as well: Skype said that it didn’t want to “overburden” the Moji’s messages by including McCartney’s more distinguishing musical characteristics. (If you’re looking for condensed The Girl is Mine or No More Lonely Nights, you’ll be disappointed.)
Wondering when you’ll be able to start spicing up your Skype exchanges with a special someone? You won’t have long to wait: You can preview and attach the new Mojis from both the desktop and mobile versions of Skype starting today.
The McCartney collaboration is the third such wave of brand partnerships from messaging platform, and likely won’t be the last. In September of last year, it added video clips and animations from Universal Studios, BBC, and Disney to its library of emojis. And in October, it added snippets from Bollywood movies and TV shows.