Emojustifying the Means

Emojustifying the Means

By D+P Team

If you haven’t heard the big news: 72 new emojis are about to throw a party in your iPad and iPhone, meaning that now digital communicators across the globe have even more ways of expressing themselves without using an actual alphabetic language. The emojis, currently only available to iOS 10 beta users, are likely to hit your Apple device with the release of iOS 10.1. Included among the new smileys are a bevy of fabulous new images, such as an avocado emoji, a shark emoji and a male dancer emoji. Perfect for all those times you’ve had a dream about eating an avocado while watching a shark chase John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.


Photo Credit: The Telegraph

The emojification (which, yes, is a real word) of our increasingly technological lives is both exciting and enjoyable. But some argue that an emoji overload will negatively impact creativity online, mostly due to the encroachment of brands and corporations into the emojisphere.

A recent article in the Times speaks to how corporations limit our sensitivities by chaining us to five emojified reactions (Facebook), collecting data for advertisement targeting based on the emoji we use (Twitter), or the direct use of emojis to promote a brand. Additionally, industry publication PR News had a bone to pick about being emoj-exasperated by a number of public relations campaigns:

“Man oh man, I never knew an emoji was an idea,” [a professional] sighs. “We [have] emoji fatigue.”

And both of these reputable sources are right. Emojitastifying, like any part of your social media strategy, is best implemented when there is compelling organic content to back it up. This is the same rule that D+P applies to paid content, or sponsored updates. If you produce shareable, useful content, then putting a budget behind it can maximize your results among your target audience.

But, don’t tack an emoji on just for the sake of it.

Here are two very different examples of emoji use by corporations and brands. One is emoj-ustified, the other is not:

Good: Using the pizza emoji to order Domino’s pizza. Genius. It’s simple, easy to understand, and, depending on your late night alcohol consumption, absolutely necessary.

Bad: Hillary Clinton’s campaign asking Twitter followers to sum up their feelings on student loan debt in three emojis or less. This is a rather complex topic for three humble emoji. Appropriate responses from me would include the middle finger emoji, the skull emoji… you get the picture.

In celebration of the new emojis, and perhaps because we had too much time on our hands over the holiday weekend, D+P came up with our own good and bad examples for how corporations could use emoji to promote their brands.

Liberty Mutual:

While insurance is not the sexiest product, Liberty Mutual has taken a very pro-LGBTQ stance during this year’s Pride month by supporting Pride parades around the country. Why not take it one step further and launch a Twitter campaign touting its life insurance policies while using two of the new groom (or two bride) emojis? Celebrate a life together, insured.

Reasons why this is a good idea: It already goes hand-in-hand with Liberty Mutual’s existing pro-LGBTQ marketing campaign. And, the groom emoji is adorable.


Photo Credit: Liberty Mutual YouTube 


In an effort to bounce back from its dismal performance over the past year related to its widespread outbreak of e. coli contamination, Mexican fast-casual restaurant Chipotle could launch a Snapchat campaign with a terrific (although perhaps not too healthy) grand prize – free burritos for a year.  Contestants simply need to snap themselves eating a burrito, and tag it with the new nauseated emoji, the no entry emoji, and the both hands up in celebration emoji. See below:


Photo Credit: E! Online

Reasons why this is a bad idea: First, it’s too complicated. Brevity is key – isn’t that the reason for using an emoji in the first place? But more importantly, this campaign would dig up negative attention for this brand which has already been laid to rest.

Looking to add digital communications and social media strategy (and emojis) to your business? We can help! Send us a note at resteasy@devinestage.wpengine.com.

D+P Team

D+P Team

We are Devine + Partners, communications and content experts who specialize in public relations, issues management and content creation.