World Emoji Day: Brands Leverage Universal Language of the Internet

Experts' take on brands supercharging campaigns with branded emojis

First launched four years back in April 2014, now Twitter emojis have become the ultimate pitch to boost a brand's business. Making one’s business speak the ‘Emoji’ language is the way to go about on Twitter these days. While we can’t imagine conversing without emoticons on a daily basis, using the same to represent businesses becomes tad bit difficult. This is when a hashtag accompanied by emojis in your tweet encourages more interaction with consumers and makes the brand stand out from competition. Communicating in the age of emojis has become easier as it helps one to express their thoughts faster and better. Certainly, this seems to be an era of symbols that has power beyond those that words provide.

Keeping in mind the popularity of emojis, Twitter has actively introduced culture, entertainment, sports and news relevant emoticons in order to multiply its audience interaction and also encourage users to express themselves in a fun way on the platform. We all would agree that the online audience has an attention span of a child and to counter that, the concept of branded emojis paired with a visual representation has proved successful in establishing an emotional connect with the reader.

In an interview to exchange4media, the man of the moment, Taranjeet Singh, Country Director, Twitter India, said, “Brands’ usage of emojis on Twitter and beyond has skyrocketed to the tune of a 461% year–over-year based on recent research. These small emojis elicit warm and fuzzy feelings towards brands that use them, therefore leveraging the popularity of emoticons. Brands in India are well focused on innovation and experimentation on social media hence they recognize branded emojis on Twitter a way to amplify their marketing campaigns. Our team here takes out time to brainstorm with clients on ideas in order to customize the design of emojis based on an event or product launch. The amount of attention an ad receives increases by almost 10% when branded emojis are included in it. This is what we term as ‘stopping power’ for a tweet to stand out on a timeline.” Commenting on the competition emojis face from the standard targeting criteria like demographic information Taranjeet Singh said, “Since birth of advertising, brands have experimented with ways to reach their target audience. Emoji ads add value to how brands can connect on a personal level with people in this digital age.”

Globally, marketers also reward consumers for tweeting out their branded hashtags multiple times through games or several campaigns on Twitter. This further enhances the brand value and incorporates a personal touch with its audience, for every customized emoji conveys a distinct brand message. Applauding Twitter emojis that drive brand conversations these days, Pratyusha Agarwal, CMO, ZEEL, said, “Social media is a great platform for brands to not just connect as personalities with emotions but also provide brand customized emotions for people to express & make the brand their own. Being evocative storytellers, we at ZEE strongly believe in the power of Twitter emojis to drive personal conversations with our audience. According to Twitter, interactions with a hash tag increases by 6X if used with an emoji. We have been using them intelligently and extensively across our campaigns, with the latest one being for American Idol. We believe the next level for branded emojis is not just how they personalize a campaign but also inspire the audience to have fun in their daily lives. We have taken this a leap further with Zee TV being the first HGEC to have an official account on Giphy, launching our GIFs from India’s Best Dramebaaz. In a short span of just 3 weeks, our official Giphy account has crossed 11 MN views proving that people are looking for funny and easy to use trendy aids. Brands can definitely benefit from being part of this cultural trend.”

Most of the major brands are witnessing great success with the usage of Twitter emojis. To begin with, a glaring example of this is our Indian Government that became one of the first non-U.S based brands to have an emoji of black lion on an orange background with #MakeInIndia. This was aimed to promote the country as a global manufacturing hub. Mission ‘Make in India’ has become increasingly popular with business leaders across the globe hence proving the medium of Twitter emojis to be highly effective. Not just this, PM Narendra Modi also launched the Independence Day emoji, where in one could add the tricolor to tweets by simply using #India. Starting from celebrating festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali to historical events like Republic Day, Twitter joined the festive fervor with special emojis associated with each hash tag. Several brands such as Vodafone Zoozoo, Maruti Suzuki, Coke, Starbucks, all practice the concept of Twitter emojis in their ads and promotions. FMCGs such as Cadbury, Dove, Amul, Loreal etc have all availed Twitter emojis with their respective hash tags to promote their cause.

Lauding the usage of emojis on Twitter, Hina Nayar, Co-Founder & CEO, ProfiliAd, said, “Brands are using emojis to communicate with their target audience. They are using a ‘mobile-first’ strategy to reach out through Twitter emojis as 65% of the audience access Twitter these days through mobile phones. Also, emotional advertising is more effective, hence brands are opting for creative twitter emojis to tap their customers.”
Commenting on use of Twitter emojis, Prasad Shejale, Co-Founder & CEO, Logicserve Digital, said, “Emojis add warmth and a feel good factor between brands and its consumer leading to a long-lasting relationship. Custom branded emojis can be a great asset in capturing the attention of users. These help in highlighting the USP of products in a fun and engaging manner which eventually leads to an increase in engagement, brand awareness and higher recall value among consumers.”

While on one hand applauds pour in, on the other the positioning of Twitter emojis still seems ambiguous when compared to the traditional targeting criterias like demographic information, which marketers normally use. Advertisers are still experimenting with the new concept of Twitter emoji. Reacting to this, Sushil Agarwal, GM, Sales, JK Tyres, said, “Certainly the usage of emojis has amplified in our personal lives but we at JK Tyres haven’t leveraged the usage of emojis to engage with our audience. We are still exploring the options and in future we might adapt to the concept of customised emoji related to tyres." Meanwhile, Rakesh Yadav, Co-Founder and CEO, AdGlobal360, said, “Through Twitter conversations, brands attempt to be more human with their audience and that is what counts these days. Use of emoticons has resulted in a 15% increase in online interaction building a friendly image among its clients.”

Remember, smiling is infectious, you catch it like flu, says a simple J emoji. Here’s to more peace and ever J conversations. Wishing you all a Happy World Emoji-day! For more updates, subscribe to exchange4media's WhatsApp Channel- https://bit.ly/2QUdLCK

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