How These 7 Brands Nailed Emoji Marketing Campaigns And What To Learn From Them
Updated: Jul 17
Most of us have been stuck in our homes since the pandemic hit. And if it was not for the Video calls, WhatsApp, Netflix, and the Internet we would be bored to madness.
During this tough time, most of our conversations went virtual. It is via Google Meet, Whatsapp Texts, Slack Messages, Zoom Calls that we were able to Work From Home.
Not only workplace banter but our personal conversations with friends became mostly virtual. And through this tough time, you could rely on this one thing to make your online chats more expressive than ever. They were the constant in your changing world - Emojis.
Open any of your group text and look if you have said Congratulations or Happy Birthday without an Emoji.
Emojis were already a big part of our conversations for the last decade but now they are more needed than ever.
What started as a way of bringing expression to chatrooms with emoticons by some teenagers trying to look cool is now evolved into a worldwide language. And if not a complete language then it is a supplementary one that allows us to communicate better.
People say that today, the youth has forgotten to value the written word because their chats are full of Emojis, Stickers, Memes, and GIFs. Only half of that sentence is true. Yes, today the chats are full of these visuals but that doesn’t mean that the youth doesn’t value the written word.
Emojis help us convey the tone of the text messages and help us express better than ever. “Ya, sure ☺️” conveys sincerity, while “Ya, sure 🙄” conveys a sarcastic tone.
A Brief History
How Popular Emojis Are And Why
According to recent statistics, 5 Billion emojis are used in FaceBook messenger and FaceBook alone. Facebook posts that use emojis receive 57% more likes and 33% more comments and shares than those without them.
Even tweets with emojis have a 25% higher engagement rate compared to tweets without emojis.
10 billion emojis are shared via texts per day.
Did you know that 92% of all users on the internet use emojis?
The numbers tell us that we clearly have a fondness for emojis. But it is not just the aesthetic that appeals to us. A recent paper in the Journal Behaviour and Information Technology mentioned that “the use of emoji faces in computer-mediated communication produces neural responses that are similar to those that are observed in face-to-face communication.”
Seeing an emoji affects us on an emotional level.
Emojis in Marketing
These little drawings have an emotional connect with users across the globe and are also used billions of times per day. They are this phenomenon that soon got attention from brands. And marketing ideas were soon to conceptualise.
Brands that have a younger audience are seen to be more engaging with the concept of Emoji marketing. Emoji marketing is one of the most powerful forms of Conversation Media Marketing. The reason is to become a part of conversations that their users have.
Brands that did Emoji Marketing Right
Taco Bell And The Emoji Plea
In 2014, Taco Bell filed a petition asking the Unicode Consortium named “America wants a Taco emoji”. As the name suggests the petition was to introduce a taco emoji.
The change.org campaign of Taco Bell was a success as they received 32,802 supporters. The reason why this campaign stood out was that TacoBell didn’t just make a custom Taco emoji they made it available on all Ios and Android platforms. Brand endorsement using a simple emoji.
Domino’s struck on the sales
Where Taco Bell went for Brand Awareness speaking to a Country’s Emotion Domino’s went straight for the sales. Both are brilliant in their own ways.
As a part of Domino’s Anywhere campaign, the Pizza franchise allowed users to order their favourite pizza by simply tweeting a pizza emoji. Although there was a bit of set-up that users needed to do the campaign was still a hit. Domino’s reported a 50% increase in its sales days after the campaign went live. So with one stone, Domino’s hit both sales and brand recall.
Deadpool And The Emojified Banner
In 2016, Before the release of the Deadpool movie BillBoards and Social-Media pages carried this emojified banner that spells the movies name with Emojis (Dead/Poo/L).
It was a risky take as the banner could have been trolled. But seeing as the franchise has branded itself as a funny, edgy millennial movie, they played their cards just right.
World Wide Fund Raised Awareness
Emojis are fun and it is quite a risky task to mix up the fun emojis with a serious message. But WWF managed to use emojis beautifully for their campaign #EndageredEmojis.
In 2015, WWF came out with 17 custom-made emojis of endangered animals for this campaign. Netizens could participate in the campaign by agreeing to donate 11 cents every time they used one of these emojis. The money went directly to the conservation of the specific animal whose emoji they used. The campaign spoke to the people with a simple and relatable problem, raised awareness, and monetary value as well.
KitKat Encourage People To Take A Break
In Nov 2015, KitKat came up with this video that stretched its "Take a Break" motto in an engaging way.
With the #thebreakemoji campaign Kitkat encourage people to take a break and gave them various ways to do so.
Following the steps of TacoBell, KitKat also filed a petition at change.org.
It was aimed at convincing Unicode Consortium to make the snapping KitKat bar emoji as an official emoji encouraging people to take a 10 minutes break.
While KitKat didn't get its Emoji by Unicode Consortium now there are many ways for brands to get custom emojis to user conversation with up and coming conversation media platforms like Bobble AI and Holler. Read More about this below.
Ogilvy's Campaign Also Raises Awareness
WWF is not the only one who raised awareness for a noble cause with Emojis.
In June 2021, Emoji Marketing campaigns Ogilvy agency did the same and with great visuals.
UN Environment Programme partnered with WWF-India, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau – Govt. Of India, and the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change.
Together the organizations are working to control the soaring wildlife trafficking in the air transport sector in India.
For starting a conversation on this topic Ogilvy Agency came up with the "Sad Emoji" campaign showing the plight of our beautiful wildlife.
Indian Celebrities Dia Mirza and Akshay Kumar supported the campaign by sharing it online and encouraging their fans to do the same.
Oreo Bringing Out The Big Guns With BigMojis
In January 2021, Oreo collaborated with Bobble AI. Bobble AI has its own band of keyboard apps that brands like Happydent, Cadbury, and Oreo are using for Conversation Media Marketing.
Along with the Flagship Bobble Keyboard, there are multiple language keyboard apps that can help brands reach even more users.
The tech startup came up with a new and enhanced type of conversation media - BigMoji.
As the name suggests these emojis are big, bold and beautiful.
Oreo and Bobble AI partnered to create "Recipic" an emoji marketing campaign.
For the duration of the campaigns, Bobble Keyboard users could share these stickers and BigMojis on messaging and social media platforms.
This campaign generated more than 335 Million brand imprints in chat conversations. More than 5.3 Million Unique Views. And More Than 2.6 Million Unique Shares.
What To Learn From Emoji Marketing Campaigns
Don’t Overuse Emojis
A tweet from Multinational investment bank Goldman Sachs. This was not so well received. It just looks overdone.
This Chevrolet campaign is another extreme example of emoji overuse.
Try To Become A Part Of User Conversation
One way to avoid such mishaps is by becoming a part of user conversations rather than their social media feed. Campaigns that becomes a part of user conversations are some of the best campaigns. Like Taco Bells try becoming a part of everyday user conversations and was successful.
Chipotle in collaboration with Holler, a tech company that is integrated with messaging and keyboard apps, to make these fun shareable chipotle memes. This way it successfully became a part of user conversations in a way that is enjoyable rather than intrusive for its audience.
Returning to the KitKat example which could have leveraged custom emoji packs and became a part of user conversations using said Keyboard Integrated Platforms.
These platforms make such fun marketing possible and even give brands various metrics to measure performance.
Starbucks made this custom emoji which in a short time became quite popular amongst the users. This can be done for any brand big or small from any sector.
Emojis are so close-knit to our conversations, the youth today loves when their brands connect with them in a relatable way. Instead of annoying users by following them across the internet these conversation media marketing campaigns can help you reach your ideal users without being intrusive or disrespectful of their space.