The brand’s new Smile Index reveals smiles may be down, but the majority of people hope to smile more in 2022

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#50YearsofSmiley–In honor of its 50th anniversary, The Smiley Company, the brand behind the iconic smiley, is declaring 2022 the Year of Smiles based on insights from a recent survey revealing the state of smiles nationwide.

According to the new Smile Index survey, while 40% respondents admit they smiled less in 2020 and 2021 than in previous years, 70% of Americans agree they want to see more smiles in 2022. The study also reveals the power of a smile, with nearly three-quarters (71%) of people agreeing that when someone smiles at them, it makes them feel happy.

As people seek optimism in the New Year, Smiley is kicking off 2022 with a series of 50th anniversary initiatives to bring more positivity and happiness to the masses. Launching this spring, Smiley will introduce an exclusive Collector’s Edition, featuring over 50 halo brand collaborations across fashion, beauty, art and design. The new collection was developed in partnership with Creative Director of Colette, Sarah Andelman, and graffiti-artist André Saraiva.

“After the challenging last couple of years, what better way to navigate out of these times with this campaign that aims to reverse a global smile deficit, spread positivity and fill the world with smiles in 2022,” said Nicolas Loufrani, CEO of The Smiley Company. “This campaign has proved that Smiley’s unique, creative and positive symbolism continues to inspire some of the most influential artists, brands and tastemakers across the globe.”

Additional key findings from the Smile Index include:

  • Humor Is Good for the Soul: The top thing that makes Americans smile is when someone says something funny (71%); other top contenders include when someone smiles at them (66%) and a happy memory (63%)
  • Smiles Spread Good Vibes: The top feelings that a smile evokes are happiness, comfort, and calmness
  • The Most and Least Smiley Cities: San Diego is one of the cities that smiles the most with 21% of residents reporting that they smile between 21-30 times a day, whereas Jacksonville smiles the least with 31% of residents reporting that they only smile between 1 and 5 times each day
  • Smiles Across Regions: People from the Midwest smile the most each day with 15% of residents reporting that they smile between 41-50 times a day, whereas 25% of people from the Northeast and Southeast report that they only smile between 1-5 times a day

Initially trademarked in 1972, by French journalist Franklin Loufrani, Smiley is one of the most recognizable icons in graphic design. Over the past 50 years, The Smiley Company has influenced culture across the worlds of art, fashion, film, music, print and pop culture, prioritizing positivity, creativity and creating a happier, kinder, more conscious world.

Throughout the year, Smiley will be announcing exciting collaborations, partnerships and smile-worthy moments around the world. To join The Smiley Company in celebrating smiles in 2022 and to learn more about The Smiley Company, visit

About The Smiley Company:

Created in 1972, by French journalist Franklin Loufrani to spread feel-good news, the Smiley TRADEMARK/BRAND would go on to become one of the most important icons in graphic design, bringing people together through a creative message that spreads positivity and putting social and emotional learning at the top of the agenda. Smiley is a universal counter culture icon with a message of positivity that has influenced generations across the globe. Reinvented and redefined by generations of activists, artists and creators, Smiley continues to thrive and influence future generations.

In 1996 Nicolas Loufrani, son of Franklin, took the helm whilst the world was in the midst of the digital revolution and saw a huge opportunity to bring Smiley into the digital world. Nicolas created a whole new way of communicating, using a variety of facial expressions on the original Smiley to convey emotions. His emoticons are now used by everyone around the world every day.

Pursuing Smiley’s goal to make the world a happier, kinder, more conscious place, Loufrani created Smiley Movement in 2017. ​​Smiley Movement is a non-profit community which aims to inspire positive change in society addressing urgent societal and environmental problems. Smiley Movement provides a cross-media platform of news, videos, events and awards that connect the non-profit sector to the broader public to enlighten minds and empower people to take positive action.

Today, The Smiley Company is one of the world’s top global licensing enterprises that extends across fashion and homewares, through to food and beverage and continues to embrace collaboration as an opportunity to spread this important message. For 2022 Smiley will bring back its original message of ‘Take the Time to Smile’ which is still as relevant as ever, by spreading this positive message through global activations, brand collaborations and feel good experiences. More than an icon, brand and lifestyle, Smiley is a spirit and philosophy and a reminder of how powerful a smile can be.

**The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 2,036 respondents aged 16+ in the US between 12.10.2021 – 12.13.2021. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society, which is based on the ESOMAR principles.



Lyndsey Havens


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