These days emojis are everywhere. These small, letter-sized graphics used in online communication have become a cultural phenomenon, with emoji graphics adorning everything including jewelry, clothing, home furnishings and pinatas; heck, I even carved an emoji pumpkin this year at halloween. Emojis caught on because they are simple to use and easy to understand, plus there is something so stinkin’ cute about those tiny little images. Simply put, emojis are fun. However, just because something is fun and trendy, doesn’t mean that it should be disregarded. In fact, if you think about it, trendy, simple to use, easy to understand and fun, are all great reasons to incorporate emojis into advertising campaigns, and many companies have done just that.
Emojis should definitely be taken seriously, as around 6 billion emojis are sent every day. They can be used on any type of electronic communication including emails, push messages, text messages and on social media, an area becoming increasingly important for companies to use.
In this sense emojis are as equally effective in other media forms as well. See here a McDonald’s street campaign that utilized storytelling through emojis. (Although read here about how this campaign may have backfired)
GE has also recently released a video series that uses Bill Nye and emojis in “The Emoji Science” to explain scientific subjects such as climate change and evolution in 90 seconds.
Why should you use emojis?
1️⃣ Emojis are effective in humanizing a message, making what would otherwise be a block of text appear less cold.
2️⃣ Emojis can also make a message easier to understand. Considering the importance of body language and facial expression when perceiving or communicating tone, adding a visual cue to a typed message can be an effective indicator of tone.
3️⃣ In places where the number of characters are limited an emoji can help cut down on a word count.
4️⃣ Emojis also can also be eye catching and are immediately recognizable no matter what language you speak. When used correctly, emojis can communicate the subject of a message without even reading it and a pop of colour on an easily recognizable icon will immediately draw the eye. Take a look at how in the image below. In a list of emails all promoting golfing gear, the one with a single golf emoji stands out. The emoji also lets the recipient know that this email contains something pertaining to golf without reading anything. This makes this email the first to be looked at and the most likely of the three to be opened.
5️⃣Using emojis creatively on social media can also spark interest in a brand. A tweet by bud light on the Fourth of July was retweeted and favourited thousands of times, simply because their audience found it clever enough to share with their own followers.
Stay tuned for Emoji ❤️: Part 2 for some examples of creative ways that companies are moving beyond tweets and email subject lines when incorporating emojis into their advertising campaigns.