full circle - from hieroglyphics to emojis.


Language has developed over time, words have been compressed and multiple words have been  blended to create one. Digital communications and busy lifestyles have influenced the development further… texting has created ‘text talk’, we also use abbreviations and shorter sentences, capitalisation is used less frequently and punctuation is used to create emoticons (facial expressions made up of punctuation marks, numbers and letters). 

The emoticon has been quickly superseded by the emoji, love them or hate them, they have influenced how we communicate via texting, social media and advertising… the use of a few shared pictures and characters provide us with the ability to speak the same language quickly and internationally and reinforce our messages with emotions.

The word ‘emoji’ was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013 and it is Britain’s fastest growing language, the word comes from ‘picture’ (e) and ‘character’ (moji) in Japanese. A Talk Talk Mobile survey suggests that 8 out of 10 British people use emojis to communicate regularly and 72% of those use the symbols more frequently now than they did a year ago. Brands love them too. A survey by Appboy of the top 500 brands shows that their use of emojis in branded communications increased by a whopping 777% from 2015 to 2016.

Chevrolet created a campaign to launch their 2016 Cruze which included a press release created entirely of emojis, the whole campaign resulted to a 18 x higher engagement on Twitter. WWF created a wonderful fundraising campaign on Twitter to raise awareness about protected animals. 17 of the emoji animals are endangered and WWF encouraged people to use them in their tweets, each tweet donating £0.10 to the organisation. For Star Wars (The Force Awakens) Disney and Twitter collaborated to launch special emoji Star Wars characters… these let fans do the marketing for them.

So, are emojis right for your business/brand communications? Like any piece of communication, before its creation, we’d advise that you look carefully at your target audience and how they like to interact online. Would it be appropriate and relevant to use emojis and will they enhance the message? Sometimes it will be right to use a beautifully crafted piece of copy that includes all that stuff you learnt in school (adjectives, adverbials and punctuation) and this might be set in a wonderfully hand-crafted font. And sometimes, a single emoji will do!

It’s an international language that’s not going anywhere fast. If you’d like to have a chat about how you might creatively integrate emojis into your marketing campaigns, please get in touch.

Tel: 01752 222 744.

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