noun | emo-ji | ē-mō-jē
From Merriam-Webster 2015 Update: any of various small images, symbols, or icons used in text fields in electronic communications to express the emotional attitude of the writer, convey information succinctly, communicate a message playfully without using words.
You may see them as a key to everyday communication online or a fad that you don’t understand, but did you ever think about the emoji’s essential role for businesses in the 21st century? It’s possible that emojis are the first truly universal language: understood across seas, generations, and cognitive ability. In fact, just about everyone is using them:
Emoji’s are made using a universal language, unicode. Essentially, unicode is a universal language that is then “interpreted” or displayed depending on the medium or platform it is on.
You can see how and when emojis are used every second using this emoji tracker.
As a result, most businesses have taken a swing at using emojis for everything from social media to product feedback. Here are our favorite emoji marketing campaigns (from the awesome to the awesomely bad). Scroll down to the bottom for our 10 tips for using emojis in your next marketing campaign.
20 Emoji Marketing Efforts to Learn From & Laugh At:
Twitter’s Custom Emojis
Coca-cola is not a soft-drink company – they are a marketing company. Last Fall, Coke’s marketing team introduced the world to brand-customized emojis on Twitter.
The test campaign focused on “engagement, sentiment, adoption of the emoji and total reach” according to Twitter representatives. Though we can’t say whether these goals were met, Twitter’s continuation with sponsored emojis is a pretty good indicator:
2. Make In India – branded emojis overseas
— Make in India (@makeinindia) November 4, 2015
3. Star Wars
Let’s be honest. Do wrong, Star Wars marketing efforts couldn’t. Twitter continued their sponsored emojis for the massive release of The Force Awakens. Twitter eyes more ways to monetize their 320 million monthly active users & 1 billion unique monthly visitors.
Social Media Campaigns
Unlike the massive emoji-centered campaigns thus far, Bud Light made a massive impact using emojis in a single tweet:
— Bud Light (@budlight) July 4, 2014
5. Domino’s Pizza
You can order a pizza by sending the pizza emoji to Domino’s. That is all. This is a fun move from the pizza giant to capitalize on the ubiquitous pizza slice emoji.
— Domino's Pizza (@dominos) May 12, 2015
6. Taco Bell
Taco bell, along with the entire world was waiting patiently for the taco emoji. When the day came, they were ready. According to AdWeek’s Lauren Johnson, Taco Bell had 600 gifs and photos ready to go when Apple updated the emoji set for iOS 9.
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) November 9, 2015
8. Hillary Clinton’s Campaign
Social Media presence and Digital Advertising was possibly the most ignored factor in deciding the 2008 election. This group of candidates have obviously caught on to the trends, but perhaps a few of the campaigns should have stayed on the proverbial whiteboard:
@HillaryClinton How does the Keystone XL pipeline make you feel.
Tell us in 3 emojis or less.
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) August 12, 2015
— Danielle Kurtzleben (@titonka) August 12, 2015
9. French McDonalds
No parle France, but I do speak creepy. Fluent, in fact, so I can attest that this will weird you out:
10. U.K. McDonald’s
McDonald’s did make up job with its horrifying ad with their U.K. campaign against traffic jams:
Whatever this mess was.
This is definitely a sharp cheddar on the cheesiness scale, but this video displays brand association with a love story for the modern age.
13. New Relic
Bringing one of the newest marketing trend to one of the first great marketing platforms – the billboard.
14. Marvel Entertainment’s Deadpool
Marvel tried to break the internet over Reddit and Imgur when they first unveiled this billboard in Los Angeles. Though “Skull SmilingPileofPoo L” could easily mean “SkullPoopL” or “SkullChocolateSwirlL”, this ad was either next-level cleverness or strange enough to learn more.
Custom Emoji Keyboards
15. Kim Kardashian’s Kimojis
I swore an oath to never keep up with the Kardashians, but her self-branded emoji keyboard has me: ?. At it’s peak, the $1.99 app was generating $1 million in gross income per minute, crashing Apple’s App Store. PER MINUTE. DOLLARS. MILLION. THINGS I DON’T UNDERSTAND.
Fail: All business’s Hopping on the DJ Khaled Train
Brands are constantly fighting for position as the most current and engaging company out there. Oftentimes, brands try a little TOO hard to connect with new audiences. In an awesome article from Digiday, Jordan Valinsky reveals all the brands trying to take advantage of DJ Khaled’s viral rise on Snapchat. Even WE couldn’t resist.
16. Wing Stop: Losers
17. Sonic: Losers
— Sonic Drive-In (@sonicdrivein) December 30, 2015
18. Uber: Losers
Uber when it's raining—major 🔑
— Uber (@Uber) January 6, 2016
19. MasterCard: Loser
Major 🔑 Alert: If you need ID Theft alerts, we’ve got you covered. 💳 #blessup
— Mastercard (@Mastercard) January 11, 2016
To which the majority of Twitter followers responded along the lines of:
.@MasterCard please show yourself out
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) January 12, 2016
— SUN’S OUT JORTS OUT (@passthe40) January 12, 2016
20. Denny’s: Winner!
Only because DJ Kahled WANTED you to tweet about him.
— Denny’s (@DennysDiner) December 30, 2015
(Jordan’s Consolation winner: Dad)
Dad’s on Snapchat pic.twitter.com/5pxb7W6A0I
— Brett LoGiurato (@BrettLoGiurato) January 12, 2016
10 Quick Tips for Using Emojis for your Business
- Emojis can be your entire business model. Swyft Media builds sticker keyboards that reach “2.5 billion registered users” and turning those yellow frowns into straight cash (from Erin Griffith)
- :joy: is the most used emoji on Instagram
- Provide an easy way for customers to give feedback: Emojis have been proven to strengthen the efficiency and quality of app bug reporting, according to Usernap’s Tom Peham.
- Facebook is testing emoji reactions to posts and ads, walking a thin line between emotions and a potential dislike button. Read more
- Increase your email marketing open rate: These are the 15 most-used emojis on Mailchimp
- Use emojis to add some Razzle Dazzle to your Digital Marketing with these 4 tips.
- Mac users can enable an emoji keyboard on their desktop in the general settings
- Get the emoji chrome browser extension: here
- Emoji’s used to be 3 characters on Twitter, but now only count as 1! #freedom
- July 17th is World Emoji Day!
- [Insert your marketing strategy in the comments!]
*Bonus: another creepy emoji picture for ya*