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How Marketers Can Win the Great Emoji Arms Race
By: AdAge
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In November, Elissa McGee was excited to text and tweet about the public opening of the Guinness Open Gate brewery in Dublin. But the Guinness senior brand manager soon realized a little social media snafu: There was no dark beer emoji for her to include in those messages.

There are well over 1,000 emojis on a standard smartphone keyboard, but the beer ones have a distinctly lighter hue. An update from the tech industry's Unicode Consortium in June will add some of the 79 candidates vying for a spot on the screen, with contenders including an avocado, a glass of milk and a smiley face wearing a cowboy hat. It will not include a dark beer emoji. Now Guinness is working to get "stoutmoji" added in a later round. (There's no fee for marketers to try, just a detailed submission to complete.)

Guinness is "in it for the long game," Ms. McGee said. She knows going through Unicode rather than creating the brand's own keyboard could take years. That's fine. Emojis aren't going anywhere. Marketers are more likely to drown consumers in them first.

Well beyond the Dublin brewery, brands are eagerly using the popular little glyphs to connect with their fans and their targets, introducing campaigns across categories at a rapid clip.

"Great advertising has always kind of circumvented the rational parts of our brains by relying on visual images to conjure up emotions," said Kit Yarrow, author of "Decoding the New Consumer Mind" and a consumer psychologist. "It's a shorthand way to turn on emotions using visual stimuli, and it's just that the stimuli du jour is the emoji," she said.


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This was originally published on AdAge. A link to the original story follows this post. www.adage.com
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