Marketing with Emojis

The emoji is a rare phenomenon – it is a global language where uptake is actually on the increase.

It’s unlikely that you have never come across emojis, but you may not know exactly what these little characters are so here’s a quick overview:

  • Emojis are images that can be incorporated into texts, emails, social media posts and chat applications
  • Emoji pictures are governed by the Unicode Consortium
  • The word emoji comes from the Japanese 絵 (e ≅ picture) 文 (mo ≅ writing) 字 (ji ≅ character).

Essentially emojis provide a shorthand, fun way to communicate and convey emotions, tones and other details better than just plain standard text. They also do this better and in less space than their predecessors; the emoticons e.g. : – ) and ; – )


The most popular and frequently used emoji is this ? which represents lol, lmao, ha ha ha, etc

Also amongst the most popular is ❤ and ?

The emoji tracker tool www.emojitracker.com shows the realtime use of emojis on twitter and this gives a nice analysis of the most and least frequently used characters.

Emojis are a integral feature of the Apple watches. In addition to the standard set of emojis the watch comes with a range of special animated emojis. The redesigned emojis help to compensate for the small size of the watch screen which causes issues and limitations with traditional text messages.

Using Emojis in Marketing

Given that emojis are increasingly popular, understood universally and used on many different devices, it is clearly advantageous for businesses to consider using emojis in marketing.

You may be thinking that the obvious way to use emojis in marketing would be to create bespoke, company specific versions? However, getting a new emoji added to the existing collection is a complicated and longwinded process controlled by the Unicode Consortium.

There are a few brands who have successfully created bespoke emojis to reflect their offering e.g Ikea and Footlocker, however the bespoke route is really not viable for smaller organisations with small budgets and lesser influence.

So, it seems that for most businesses, the more favourable route to using emojis in marketing will be to work out an innovative and creative way to make use of existing emojis, in order to further communication and even drive business value.

A couple of weeks ago Domino’s started using emojis to allow customers in the US to order their pizzas online via twitter. Customers will be able to tweet the pizza emoji to @Dominos and order their previously saved ‘easy order’ pizza.


Expect to see more companies using emojis in marketing campaigns, because in an online space where word count is frequently limited it makes sense to use images that convey more information and are visually engaging at the same time.

Emojis seem to give an added edge and an element of fun to modern communication and convey tone much better than just words.

In an online space that is frequently limited by word counts, emojis convey more information in less space and are visually engaging at the same time

Smart marketers are tuning into the increased usage of emojis and using consumers’ fascination with them to their advantage.

Author: Anne-Marie, Marketing Manager, far’n’beyond

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