August 26th 2016

Could Sponsored Emojis Be the Next Big Thing?

Posted by Will Shadbolt

Nowadays, who doesn't recognize the cute, loveable emoji faces? But it took them a while to get to where they currently are. In the 90s, emojis first appeared on Japanese phones. It was not until they were included in iPhones, though, that they really became popular worldwide. They are simple ways of lightening a text conversation or conveying a mood, and now they might also become a way of signifying a business. 

Over the past year, Twitter has been incorporating sponsored emojis into their service for the low, low cost of $1 million. Examples include Pepsi and Anheuser-Busch during the 2017 Super Bowl, and Lucasfilm adding in characters from Star Wars Episode VII when users typed in certain hashtags. 

Until recently, people were not sure if this was a fad or a new type of advertising. But now, Pepsi has returned for more, giving credence to the idea that this is the way of the future. 

After the Super Bowl, Pepsi unveiled a large campaign entitled "Say it with Pepsi that used special emojis, or "PepsiMojis," in the advertising. And a month after World Emoji Day (July 17th), they are still expanding the scope of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Twitter recently introduced a "sticker" service that allows users to put stickers (large emojis that can be manipulated) on their photos. These have different themes, like graduation, and are searchable so that users do not have to flip through page after page of them trying to find the right one. Pepsi has partnered up again with them to launch another series of sponsored emojis, this time as stickers. These will appear at the top of the page. There are about 50 of these stickers from the "Say it with Pepsi" campaign, including Pepsi cans and colors as well as variations on popular emojis, like a face with hearts for eyes, a winky face, or someone laughing until they cry. 

Despite Twitter not saying how they sell sponsored stickers, do not be surprised if you see some new ones from other brands in the coming months. After the apparent success of the soft drink company, others will be aching to get in on the action. This Pepsi campaign is one of the most ambitious advertising uses for emojis ever, and now the ground has been paved for others to get more creative with them as well. For now, though, they're quite expensive, but in the coming years we could see even small businesses having their own emoji on various platforms.

Designing an emoji can be difficult. It must realistically convey something while also remaining cute and loveable. At Giovatto Advertising, our art department can create the perfect design that fits your company's brand while also factoring in public opinion about layout. Come to Giovatto Advertising and you'll be making a smiley face all day. 

(Fun Fact: The word "emoji" does not come from the word "emotion." It is instead a transliteration of the Japanese characters for them, 絵文字, which means "pictograph.")


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