• 01.21.14

These Grotesque, “Real-Life” Emoji Have A Message For Your Kids

French agency Rosapark gets the Internet’s attention with a series of not-so-cute emoji.

Long gone are the days of parents telling their kids not to take candy from strangers. In the 21st century, would-be predators use digital lures. So French agency Rosapark, has created a “real-life emoji” campaign for nonprofit group Innocence en Danger that’s meant to scare the bejeezus out of children who might enter into dangerous online relationships.


“Predators will sometimes pose as children in order to build up a trustful relationship with their targets,” says Jamie Standen, a Rosapark creative director. “Posing as a child requires adopting their language and emoji are a major element of that. We want parents and children to stop and think: those are some funny, friendly emoji in my chatbox, but what if they disguise a disturbing reality?”

The series of includes bulging eyes, big smiles, fat tongues, and exaggerated tears and hearts. The 3-D images were built by Parisian shop Mécanique Générale. You can zoom in super close on the company’s site–right up to the stubble and veins–if you can stomach it.

About the author

Jennifer Miller is the author of The Year of the Gadfly (Harcourt, 2012) and Inheriting The Holy Land (Ballantine, 2005). She's a regular contributor to Co.Create.