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Do you Speak Emoji?

Emoji is now cited as the world's fastest-growing digital language. The picture based way of communicating has a range of image icons that convey certain meanings and emotions. A large amount of these icons are now becoming more prevalent in the way we communicate digitally and as many emojis are universally understood, it’s easy to see the growing popularity of this way of communicating that transcends borders. Could the emoji be seen as the new international language of the world?

We’ve started to see emoji’s creeping into mainstream communication, yet pictorial communication dates back to caveman times. 75% of people now use them in text messaging but only 15% of people use them in email. This suggests that the use of emoji’s are predominantly used in less formal communication such as on social media and perhaps don’t have a place in formal email communications. What do you think?

Yet undeniably in the cluttered digital age the use of the emoji is being more pronounced. Increasingly, 72% of 18-25s find it’s easier to express emotions through emoticons rather than the written word. Text messaging has been noted as being somewhat limited in expressing our emotions and takes the empathy out of digital communication, yet emoji's can help to bridge that gap.

With a diverse selection of emojis we can express our feelings through an image.Therefore, it shouldn’t be seen as death of a formal language but just part of the evolution of language and symbolises how much language changes and is intrinsic to our culture. So it serves the question, with the rising use of emojis in our digital communication (and it looks like they’re here to stay), should we be using these more to our advantage and adopting them as a valid way to communicate? Advertisers particularly within the digital space are already seeing the benefits of replacing written text with the emoji in marketing communications.

The airline Norwegian air shuttle created an emoji based url to target individuals who wanted to fly from Copenhagen to Las Vegas as shown below:

The URL was pushed out onto instagram by partner influencers not by Norwegian air shuttle themselves. The spokesperson for the airlines marketing said they wanted to reach the target audience “differently than they are used to” and it was about “capturing the target audience’s curiosity, and to communicate the message in an innovative and humorous way.

Campaign Results:

The airline said the posts generated 4,171 likes and reached over 500,000 people.

For the above airline campaign, emojis were used in a fun and novel way to entice interest and intrigue in the potential target audience. However, it seems the use of emojis are only effective if they all have a universal meaning.

I must admit I’ve completely changed the way I’ve read a message by misinterpreting an emoji meaning and I’ve had to Google the meaning of some emoji’s to understand a message too! So should we read into them too much or just dismiss them in a message. How good are you at understanding emoji’s? Do you know your from your  ?

Take the quiz below to see how well you speak emoji.

If you’d to find out more about  Digital, contact us on 02476 853 222 or and we can help with your marketing communications.

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10 Digital
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