Julia Deutsch
Julia Deutsch 31 March 2016

Emoji Marketing: This Is Just The Beginning

Emoji marketing is the new trend in advertising. These simple icons are now being used to drive campaigns and do all the talking.

Branded marketing is seeing a rise in emoji marketing. Love or hate emoji use, this trend is just beginning. Everyday communication, and therefore social media marketing, is being transformed by these simple images.

With the introduction of the smartphone over a decade ago, society is increasingly removed from the time before fingertip communication. The language and style of smartphone conversation has evolved and is heavily influencing the way marketers speak to their audiences.

Emoji use spans generations

As attention spans are shrinking, companies are fighting to attract seconds worth of consumer attention. Emoji are a great way to capture attention across age groups.

  • Four in five 18-65 year olds use emojis on a daily basis.
  • 72% of 18-25 year olds claim emojis are far more effective in expressing emotion as compared to the written word.

Figures: PR Week

Brand emoji use on social media is growing

Brands are taking into account their audience’s reliance on emoji in the way they speak to them. Socialbakers year-on-year report of the top 500 brands using both Twitter and Facebook in 2014 and 2015 shows a striking growth of brands integrating emojis into conversation.

Emojii use on Facebook graph


Emojii use on Twitter graph

Facebook Reactions

Facebook recently expanded upon the iconic like button to include six new emojis: like, love, wow, haha, sad and angry. They have recognised that a ‘like’ button will no longer cut it, as emoji keywords are replacing the emotions shown through words.

Facebook saw this as a necessary change to stay on the cutting edge of the ever evolving way we interact with technology. These Facebook Reactions were globally researched and tested to develop the six icons that are most used to reflect human emotions on the Facebook site.

Facebook reactions image

Product Design Director Geoff Teehan, had the challenge of creating world recognized emotions that one billion people across 70 languages could understand and empathize with. So far, Facebook has found success with the new program update.

Coca-Cola’s successful emoji campaign

Coca-Cola set a world record on 18th September 2015 with the “World’s Largest Cheers” through the creative use of the #ShareaCoke hashtag on Twitter. Every time social media users tweeted #ShareaCoke an emoticon featuring two Coke bottles clinking would appear.

Emojii coke campaignEmojii share a coke

This social media campaign is considered one of the best emoji driven forms of branding to date. It proves that companies like Coke can set new limits by developing their own icons and implementing them in a way that gained millions of impressions and earned media attention.

Brand developed emojis

Brands are pushing the boundaries further when it comes to emoji marketing. Powerful franchises like Burger King, Star Wars, Ikea and celebrities such as Kim Kardashian are building their own emoji keyboards to use in conversation and on social media.

Ikea emoji keyboardBurger King emoji keyboard

iPhones and Android emoji keyboard releases have typically been timed with the unveiling of a new product, website or movie.

Burger King’s promotional keyboard unveiling was timed with the comeback of the popular chicken fries meal. Star War emojis were released within the weeks leading up to the premier of the highly anticipated movie.

Brand keyboards have proven to be a success with high download numbers and profit for those keyboards that cost a small fee. New generated buzz and shared content have companies developing and sharing, increasing their reach and media impressions by the thousands.

Emoji marketing is just getting started

For now, emoji marketing is the hottest trend. Emoji icons seem to be everywhere on social media, television, and in print. Merchandisers have capitalised on this trend, creating pillows, tee-shirts, and other household items featuring emojis.

But, before marketers start packing these friendly icons into campaigns and content, heed this warning. The line between clever and overdoing emoji usage is thin. Though this trend is popular, consumers recognise when companies are unashamedly advertising.

As true with any content produced, engage consumers and tell a story. Future emoji marketing campaigns that communicate and are authentic in their emoji usage will continue to generate buzz.

Contact us

Are you interested in the way emoji marketing can be integrated in your social media or content marketing? Contact us today.

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