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An image speaks a thousand words.

Beyond sayings this may be a reason behind the global growing usage of emojis. This digital version of cave paintings or other hieroglyphs – to draw from the past – is now used not only to mark sadness, happiness or replace a “LOL” but also to express a whole range of complex emotions. This complexity reduced to a simple, single image.

Behind the simplicity, there is a more complex reality to be found: a revolution of communication. With the dawn of mobile phones, spoken communication ushered in a new era before losing ground, little by little, to the comeback of written communication, via emails and text messages. Written communication does however face a major problem, its lack of emotion(s).

As we can experience on a daily basis, any written sentence is understood differently depending on the person reading it and the mood or state of mind of said reader.

Enter emojis. A simple visual representation of an emotion which instantly allows to build the stage of a written communication – if not to completely replace it.

Back to the future, is it not?

Recent technological evolutions have facilitated the adoption of emojis, allowing them to thrive outside the sole computer-bound messaging apps and benefit from the (hyper) growth of mobile messaging like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and others.

Their second quality is simplicity. They are easy to use, quite straightforward and the language they speak is universal. Thus they are perfectly aligned with the current culture and habits. One must note that about 90% of the digital population use emojis, regardless of age or background; even if it seems that women tend to use emojis more often than men. In any case, looking at recent announcements (an emoji keyboard, for example) the trend seems to be here to stay for a wee while.

A universal (marketing) language

Trend equals business. As such, emojis offer an interesting opportunity for brands. The are a form of communication used by 90% of the digital population. And this is a language which does not require translation or localisation. Brands have not failed to notice it. Or, they should understand it soon if they do not want to lose a marketing war.

Just a glimpse at Twitter is enough to understand why brands are interested in emojis. The likes of Mentos or Cocal Cola have created their own, branded, emojis. That is not to mention Pepsi which recently launched a campaign built around emojis.
This type of communication keeps growing and is not slowing down even if some speak of a “bubble” fed by brands. “Smiley” and friends have a clear and golden path before them as brands and marketers have finally found a common language to speak to all generations of their customers.

And they are not going to let go of it easily.

So, there you go. Emojis for all! And for you to tell us what you think too.

Communication for teenagers? Brands trespassing in “your” world and communication? Passing trend or golden goose for marketers? What do you… feel?

We? Just say, wave wave 😉

Links :
Emoticônes : https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Émoticône
Campagne Pepsi : http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/pepsi-preps-global-emoji-bottle-campaign/302748/

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