I wanted to share a smile with you in honor of world emoji day, which is actually happening Sunday, July 17. Why all the emoji hype? Emojis are emotional and they are a universal way for people around the world to communicate. For marketers, these digital images transcend channels and borders and they enable you to effectively communicate globally, online and offline, in a concise and visually compelling manner.
Emojis help people communicate their emotions, they bring a fun element to texting and help people share feelings on Facebook. We’ve seen celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber cash-in on the fever with their own emoji keyboards. And now we are seeing brand marketers take advantage of the benefits these icons offer.
Pepsi has a mission of connecting globally with consumers. To bring this mission to life, they recently introduced “Pepsimoji” and “the language of now – say it with a Pepsi” campaign. The campaign introduced a language of icons through 600 proprietary designs. To connect with consumers Pepsi leveraged these emojis in multiple mediums including on over 1 billion bottles and cans, via branded sunglasses and through stadium activations. Pepsi’s emojis represent a universal language in which consumers can connect, on a more emotional level, with the brand, regardless of where they’re from. PepsiCo's CEO, Indra Nooyi stated, “When you find yourself stuck at a train station in a foreign country or at a concert where it's too loud to speak, you can use your emojis to communicate. Our customers are very excited about this program and this will run in about 100 global markets this summer.”
Beyond the universal language appeal emojis bring, there are additional benefits to incorporating these types of icons (brand specific or not) into marketing programs. Consider these three benefits:
- They are a bridge between digital & physical: Emojis are attributed to the digital world. However, brands have started to bring the concept to the physical world. For example, Pepsi incorporates emojis within their packaging and leverages this tactic as a means to bridge retail marketing with digital marketing, all without words. Additionally, this type of visual communication creates consistency across methods of communication, whether it be on physical packaging or through email marketing messages.
- They enhance communication: The use of emojis strives to eliminate miscommunication. By providing direct images, the emotions and feelings that are universally understood can be utilized to execute a marketing campaign that is direct and straightforward. Additionally, they help to connect consumers, on a one-to-one level.
- They drive response: Emojis are an effective form of communication that deliver on the convenience and efficiency of digital while tying in the human emotion that is articulated in the offline world. Brands using icons or glyphs in the subject lines of their email marketing efforts have experienced a 45% increase in their open rates according to Moveable Ink. These digital icons help messages stand out in the crowded inbox and capture the consumer’s attention.
As more brands incorporate emojis into their marketing strategy it could be an indicator that they are here to stay. And the field of neuroscience confirmed that these icons activate a region of the brain associated with emotional processing – the inferior frontal gyrus. Consumers respond positively to these visuals, similar to when a human shares a smile with another human in person. For marketers, they have proven results.
As you think about incorporating emojis into your digital marketing strategy – be creative. And like with any marketing strategy or tactic, don’t overdo it - moderation is critical. Think strategically about how you leverage emojis and whether or not brand emoji(s) really make sense for your brand and your goals.