In anticipation of World Emoji Day on the 17th of July, we looked into the surge in use of this graphic keyboard and what it is that has made Emojis so important to our everyday communication.
We looked at the increase in the use of emojis by people in everyday messages, emails and social media posts and also when you look at the increased use of emoji it’s important to consider the business perspective and opportunity in their brand advertising and messages.
Information overload has been a problem for advertisers for a number of years. This is due to a number of things- the busy and hectic lifestyle we all lead, the increased use of mobile devices and people constantly being switched on to multiple channels, also similar targeting from comparable companies. Consumer’s attention is lower and as a brand, it’s harder to get your message through to them.
Despite essentially being around since the beginning of text, the classic ‘:-)’ smiley face has been some-what of a staple form of text since SMS messaging began, emoji’s have only become prominent in the past few years. In 2014, the Unicode 7.0 launch saw the release of 250 new emojis to the keyboard, the ones that now seem like our right hand when it comes to text language. In little or no time at all we have seen what can only be described as a phenomenon increase in the use of Emoji’s on a day to day basis. On average, people use 96 emojis every day.
Emojis have almost become a language in their-own right. These tiny graphics are the perfect form of communication for the hectic schedules most of us lead today. We can display our emotions exactly at one particular moment in time, quickly and effectively, conveying our message with little or no large input or effort needed. Somewhat of a solution to a problem we didn’t even know we
The increased use of emojis and the power that they have as a modern form of communication and text is clearly seen in the fact that the 2015 Oxford Dictionaries word of the year for the first time ever was not a, er, word. This displays a huge leap in proving the advancement of the interactive picture keyboard in the literacy world. People are busy and lead hectic and interactive lives, they’re constantly online, constantly connected, however, don’t have large quantities of time to type and convey messages.
Global and Powerful
Emojis are a global language. Each country has a different common use, the French use the ‘love heart’ emoji four times more than any other country and is the only country where a ‘smiley’ is not number one. Russians are the most romantic of countries based on their emoji usage and Arabic speaking countries use the flower emoji’s most frequently. Despite trends changing from county to country, correlating with the culture basis in each of these market places, the message stays the same, a vital point from a marketer’s perspective. The 2016, box-office hit movie, ‘Deadpool’, used a simple yet effective campaign when promoting their movie. The use of emojis created a creative and playful ad set. Engaging and humorous, the billboards went viral globally and organically, proving the effectiveness of such a simple concept and also, the power emojis have in the advertising world. The challenge of adapting ad formats to changing cultures is a set-back most companies face when trading on a multinational basis. Could the use of emojis eliminate that problem?
Instagram users are now able to search for posts using emoji’s, 86% of picture captions since 2015 feature an emoji if not more than one. The emerging use of emojis on social platforms is more prominent than ever before. The accelerated use of the ‘bee’ and ‘lemon’ emojis was a pivotal point in the use of emoji’s on Twitter in relation to a trending topic. The release of Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ album was spontaneous and surprising. People were talking non-stop about it on social media channels and it immediately started trending globally. We saw not only the power of organic trends with #Lemonade going global but also, the power of emojis in the digital platform when the trend of these two emojis correlated with the social engagement around the surprise and powerful release.
Since then Twitter has enabled a feature of marketers dreams. When setting up campaigns and targeting potential consumers, brands can now reach their target audience by emoji targeting. Twitter have given each Emoji now a shorthand tag and can now track the number of times it’s used, who used it and where they are located. Because emojis have proven to be included in almost 80% of social messages, this is a huge step for marketers and allows them to target to their maximum potential.
Using Emoji’s within Brand Promotion
The release of 250 emojis in 2014 surely saw the increase in their usage from both a domestic and personal aspect. However, the increased use hasn’t decreased or steadied off, in-fact, it has continued to grow and shows no sign of slowing down. Emoji usage as of June 2016 had increased eight times more since April 2015.
It is no surprise that brands are turning to emojis too. Trends from 2016 compared to the previous two years show that ‘Retail and Commerce Industry’ have seen the largest growth in emoji usage. These friendly graphics give brands the chance to add personality and playfulness to their ad campaigns. They can drive traffic to their sites using retweets and reposting. Using video creatives and GIF’s and simple messaging, brands can get creative and bring an element of fun to their adverts.
As much as any other aspect of brand advertising, keeping a clear, snappy and engaging message is a pivotal part. Being sure of what an emoji stands for and any hidden connotations with the seemingly friendly eggplant or a juicy peach. Improper usage of these emojis could lead to a mixed message being displayed and change the entire message you hoped to portray. Brands should have a clear understanding of the meaning and also the social connotation with each! Get that here.
Think about yourself. How many times a day do you use those little tiny images to explain exactly how you’re feeling, how effective they are? Breaking language barriers and telling an entire story in one or two images they allow us to convey our entire message in one or two seconds. Time saving and interactive, brands would be crazy to ignore the prominent trend.