People love an emoji.
Well, thats the conventional wisdom, if the rise and rise of emoticons in branded content is anything to go by.
If you haven’t got a clue what an emoji is, which (frankly) is unlikely, then you’re missing out.
The brilliance of emoticons in everyday conversation is that they can add depth to exchanges, shed light in the tone of a statement, and even replace whole sentences with funnier, symbol-based language.
Note: our Dev team have asked me to point out that “emoji” is specifically a picture, from the japanese “e” (picture) and “moji” (character), whereas an emoticon includes the combination of keyboard characters such as the traditional : ) smiley face.
What Has This Have To Do With Brands?
2015 has seen brands embrace emojis.
You only need to spend a few moments on emojitracker.com (a warning: if you’re sensitive to flashing/strobing lights, this site could be a bit problematic).
The site, built by Matthew Rothenberg, tracks (in real time) how often each emoticon is used on Twitter. It’s a tad overwhelming.
As we often say at myclever™ Agency, the best brands on social know how to create and join in with their audience’s conversations without sounding corporate.
As people continue to use emoticons with gusto, savvy brands have begun to pick up on this and started answering in emoji too. Some have gone as far as to lead with emojis.
Don’t believe me?
Brands Getting In On The Action
It was inevitable that once the trend took off, smart marketers wouldn’t be far behind.
Here are a few brands that we’ve spotted upping their emoji game.
The American automobile brand recently wrote an entire press release in emoji.
You read that correctly. An entire press release.
And not just a throw-away, “we’ve not got much to say” sort of release. They announced the newest version of the Chevrolet Cruze – a car they’re aiming at a younger audience – with an emoji-only statement:
Content supporting the statement including the hashtag #ChevyGoesEmoji, as the motor brand partnered with relevant influencers like Tyler Oakley and Zendaya.
Then there’s the super-cheesy music video to wrap the whole campaign up. (Watch at your own risk.)
The fast food chain has followed suit by creating out-of-home ads that use the emoticons to illustrate all-too-familiar scenarios that are improved by a trip to the nearest golden arches.
Bus-stops and billboards are among the spaces that have been taken over with the symbol narratives.
In France, a similar artistic strategy has seen classic items on the McDonald’s menu recreated with emoticons.
However, one Bristolian graffiti artist had fun adding an emoji of their own to the end of one such ad…
— Ian Grainger (@Graingeri) July 8, 2015
Lighthearted as ever, Ikea’s take on emojis was to produce their own branded icons that would solve homestead disharmony by making communication clearer than ever.
The video follows the similarly funny and endearing style as their Apple-imitating bookbook™ video.
Never one to miss out on an opportunity to connect with their global audience, the soft drinks brand made the most of emojis by creating a microsite with the URL emoticoke.com.
People were driven to this microsite by typing in any of the “happy” emoji faces, with the .ws TLD (top level domain).
Coca-Cola created out-of-home ads, as well as social content, with examples of the happiness urls.
The social presence for Britain’s athletics team has jumped on the bandwagon, with their own emoji URL.
Love Sport? Love Team GB? We have a surprise for you… A photo posted by Team GB (@teamgb) on
The URL lands on the Team GB website, a hub of the latest news and information about the team.
Over To You
What do you think? Has emoji madness taken hold, or are brands right to get in on the fun?