They are known as “emojis,” and the prefix accurately denotes that they supply a full range of emotion – from happiness to the universal hello: the waving hand.
You could say adults have co-opted the influence of pictorial expression from those unsuspecting youngsters. One study showed 74 percent of adults regularly use emojis (or emoticons) in their online communication, sending nearly 100 emojis a day. This adds up to more than 6 billion emojis, including those sent by some of the biggest brands in the world, such as:
You can, too, provided you know your target audience as well as these brands – and you partner with an experienced marketing agency to help guide you through this still novel universe.
Emoji rings true to its Japanese heritage
Smiley faces have been omnipresent for decades, but emojis go back to 1998, when Japanese designer ShigetakaKurita searched for a way to send pictures without draining much data. His solution: create a character “code” to display as an icon. Emojis became an instant and widespread success in Japan – and soon caught the attention of Apple.
The company unveiled an emoji keyboard in 2010. Shortly thereafter, emojis were standardized by Unicode, which meant other brands – Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter among them – could create their own versions of emojis.
While few people would dispute that Apple played a large role in revolutionizing the widespread use of emojis, they achieved an important validation in 2015, when the Oxford Dictionary decreed “emoji” as the word of the year.
Catch emoji fever
So how can you, as a marketer, harness the emotion of emojis and successfully channel the benefits directly to your product or service? Simply dangling one at the tail end of a Tweet or Instagram message might appear haphazard at best and solicitous at worst. Then again, it would be a mistake to over-compensate and dilute their obvious influence.
For starters, you might consider:
Encouraging people to respond to your product, service or latest sales effort by choosing a fitting emoji.
Drafting emojis of the key people in your organization – a great way to forge a bond with regular customers.
Developing an emoji-based video campaign.
Creating an emoji that belongs to your company – and only your company – and then trademarking
Taking a cue from those young, trailblazing girls and using emojis to summarize a point or make an emotional appeal.
The marketing professionals at ADTACK integrate emojis in their marketing plans, often after putting their heads together with those of the client team. In this spirit, if you've seen a “marketing emoji” that has made a big impression on you, let us know on our Facebook page.