“Thirty-five percent of all brand captions on social platforms contain emoji”

To kick off the new year, we’re exploring the evolution of how brands communicate with people and how people communicate with each other, to help you create marketing experiences that align to these trends.

If you’d asked me just a couple of years ago how I feel about emojis as a form of communication, my response would’ve been a hearty scoff. What a difference a couple of years and two nearly teenage daughters can make. Most of my text interactions with them include some form of emoji to communicate how we feel, whether it’s affectionate, frustrated or simply goofy. It’s these interactions that have helped me understand how an emoji is, in many cases, the perfect response.

Connecting with people has always been, and will always be, about speaking the same language. Digital platforms have accelerated how we communicate to one another, and marketers have been furiously adapting to speak the many languages of the locals. Emojis constitute the latest dialect to be spawned by a connected culture, and they must be incorporated into a company’s consumer vocabulary.

Top emoji in 2016
? ? ❤ ? ?

5 Ways Brands Are Adopting The New Language

Communication with emojis is just child’s play. Ninety-two percent of all people online use emojis, and one-third of them do so daily. Individuals who are emoji-fluent and -frequent are called the emoji elites. In keeping with Moore’s law, communication styles are changing so fast that rapid growth of emoji use has resulted in the demise of the internet slang (from LOL to ? ) not unlike the way some Native American languages were replaced by English as a result of colonization.

How’s your emoji fluency? – Chevy campaign
Believing that words alone couldn’t describe the new Cruze, Chevy issued a challenge to decode an emoji message to learn more about the new car.

Engaging the emoji elites – Taco Bell
Taco Bell started a Change.org petition asking the Unicode Consortium to create a taco emoji, resulting in 33,000 signatures.

Never a bad hair day  – Dove
The emoji keyboard has 27 curly-hair designs, with selectable skin tones. Dove has also partnered with Twitter so that each time someone shares a #LoveYourCurls hashtag, a custom Dove Curly Emoji will auto-generate within the tweet.

Purchase a pie –  Domino’s
Domino’s has taken its Twitter ordering to the next level. Once customers opt in to the Pizza Profiles program, they can text a pizza emoji to DPIZZA, and voila, their order is placed.

Conduct a Search by Emoji – Google
Google can now understand emojis you tweet at it. Tweet an emoji @Google, and it will respond with a GIF and link to for local search results relevant to the emoji.

Where emoji will head next is up to the imagination, but I predict we’ll see many applications where emojis move beyond communicating a feeling and begin to trigger other actions, as we’re already seeing with Domino’s and Google.

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