Love or loathe them, it cannot be denied that emojis are fast becoming the world’s first global language. But is your brand ready to put a smile on its dial?
Emojis. Those cute icons you use in your digital communication to express plethora of emotions. Whether you’re horrified, amorous, feeling blessed, or simply prawn —emojis pretty much have the spectrum of your moods and emotions covered.
Pioneered in the late 90s, Shigetaka Kurita aimed to develop a more simplistic form of emotional expression. With Apple adopting the emoji keyboard for its international iOS in 2011, today around 2 billion smartphone users worldwide are using the symbols in their digital communication.
Instagram recently reported that Internet slang has plummeted, with nearly half of all comments and captions on the social platform now containing emoji characters. Communications specialists who had ignored these smiley signifiers are starting to take notice.
Predicting the future of global digital communication, marketers are looking into how this cartoon imagery can strengthen brands and engage with customers in creative and effective ways
Tom Ollerton of We Are Social notes that Twitter teamed up with Disney and Lucasfilm to create special Star Wars emojis ahead of the release of Star Wars:Episode VII – The Force Awakens, amassing Twitter and press conversation around the film. Brands like Ikea and Footlocker are working with Twitter, Kik and WhatsApp to develop custom emoji sets.
Other companies are looking at existing icons to drive business value and to propel communication. WWF recently launched their #EndangeredEmoji campaign which highlighted 17 animal emojis people use every day that depict endangered species. With a strong call to action, people were encouraged to donate €0.10 to the WWF by tweeting one of these emojis
Whether you see emojis as a passing fad or a salient communication tool, here is some food for thought: just last month, Dominos began allowing US customers to order their pizza from Twitter using the pizza emoji. Now that’s definitely something to smile about.