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THE SCIENCE OF EMOJI
As far as methods of communication go, emoji have entirely broken the mould. A mere 10 years ago, abbreviated forms of ‘text speak’ were just appearing and now these developments in digital communication have evolved into transcendent pictograms, capable of indicating local signiﬁcance within a new global language. Whilst moves towards a standardised form of communication develop, users of social media are already ﬁnding ways to cross cultural borders and seek new ways of corresponding through purely visual means. Emoji provide the medium for mass dispersal of messages the world over, and therefore hold the key for brands everywhere to take control of the global online news agenda. With emoji now at the epicentre of digital communication within social media networks, we turn to understanding their make up, how to utilise them most effectively and mould them into brand-led communication drivers in, The Science of Emoji.
"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” -Wittgenstein
EMOJI AS A MEDIUM OF EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION measuring sentiment for brands
“…emojis have become a kind of second language for Coke's younger consumers. We felt this was a great opportunity to connect on a deeper level with our most important demographic” - Alejandro Gómez, president of Coca-Cola Puerto Rico
EMOJI AS A MEDIUM OF EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION measuring sentiment for brands Visual means of communication: signs and symbols, can cause a much faster and stronger reaction than words alone. Visual memory is encoded in the same place within the brain as emotions are also processed, thus the retention of new information has been proven to improve following engagement with such visual media. Visual stimuli and emotional response are therefore very much linked together in mental processing. It is also important to note that negative visual depictions are equally incredibly prevalent in creating a strong emotional impression.
EMOJI AS A MEDIUM OF EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION measuring sentiment for brands This is closely linked to emoji and their increased usage within both brand and consumer conversations. Even as additions and embellishments of discussion, they have the ability to increase the speed in which the human brain can process information. Stanford University's Robert E. Horn, explains, “When words and visual elements are closely entwined, we create something new and we augment our communal intelligence ... visual language has the potential for increasing ‘human bandwidth'—the capacity to take in, comprehend, and more efﬁciently synthesize large amounts of new information." The brain can see images that last for just 13 milliseconds Our eyes can register 36,000 visual messages per hour We can get the sense of a visual scene in less than 1/10 of a second 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual Visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text 40% of nerve ﬁbers are linked to the retina - Visual Teaching Alliance, 2015
EMOJI AS A MEDIUM OF EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION measuring sentiment for brands BRAND CASE STUDY: DOVE’S LOVE YOUR CULRS EMOJI In the knowledge that 6 out of 10 women do not ﬁnd their curls beautiful, Dove aimed to combat general attitudes towards what constitutes ‘beautiful hair’ by creating a set of emoji featuring solely those with curly hair. THIS WEEK SAW BOOTHS’ 31ST STORE OPEN IN HALE BARNS. As the emoji keyboard currently only offers images of straight-haired people, Dove Hair commissioned a study which found that 72% of curly-haired women wanted to use emojis that look like them WE LIVE study also found that two-thirds of women and girls agree AND STORE OPENING AND SAW A GREAT RESPONSE when expressing themselves via text. TheREPORTED FROM BOTH THE PREVIEW EVENING that “emojis let [them] express what [they] want to say better than words.” FROM BOOTHS’ SOCIAL COMMUNITIES, INCLUDING 203K COMBINED REACH, OVER 1 MILLION IMPRESSIONS AND 2.6K ENGAGEMENTS. Philip Heimann, general manager of Ogilvy & Mather Paris said: “By offering curly hair women and girls emoji representative of their hair, Dove continues its commitment to creating a world where beauty is a source of conﬁdence, and not anxiety.” By having the option to express themselves, speciﬁcally in visually-lead digital modes of communication through emoji, Dove Hair hopes that women and girls will eventually, #LoveYourCurls.
BRANDS ENHANCING AND DIVERSIFYING MESSAGING combining language with emoji
"The idea of coupling a pictogram (a communication form like emoji) with traditional alphabetical languages, allows for a deeper subtlety and richness… That is a way in which we’re only going to be seeing the interplay between traditional language and language like emoji more and more.” - Casper Grathwohl, Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year
BRANDS ENHANCING AND DIVERSIFYING MESSAGING combining language with emoji The main reason for using an emoji in a digital message is to add sentiment. They articulate, reinforce and determine the meaning of the message. Whilst they may not provide all the grammatical components to form a logical and functioning language alone, they allow for a strong linguistic adornment to pre-formed language. Emoji is to text, what gestures are to speech. Our hands provide important additional information that can clarify the key message in speech. Emoji also serve this purpose – we can add a ‘face with tears of joy’ or a ‘shocked’ expression to distinguish whether a we ﬁnd a statement to be funny or offensive. As writing takes away extra non-verbal information, emoji may allow us to re-incorporate it into our digital messaging with their increasing popularity serving as a reminder that there is a lot more to our communication than words alone. +
BRANDS ENHANCING AND DIVERSIFYING MESSAGING combining language with emoji BRAND CASE STUDY: COCA COLA’S SHARE A COKE X TWITTER Following on from their campaign for emoji URLs, where consumers can sign up for a chance to get emoji Web addresses of their very own, Coca-Cola recently became the ﬁrst brand to pay for an emoji on Twitter. A picture THIS WEEK SAW clinking now31ST STORE OPEN IN HALE BARNS. of two Coke bottles BOOTHS’ come up whenever a user types #shareacoke. Claiming a record for the largest Twitter ‘Cheers!’, Coca-Cola’s social initiative encouraged its global fan base to utilise the hashtag to see their exclusive new emoji. WE LIVE REPORTED FROM BOTH THE PREVIEW EVENING AND STORE OPENING AND SAW A GREAT RESPONSE FROM BOOTHS’ Twitter saw the drinks brand INCLUDING 203K COMBINED REACH, media 1 MILLION IMPRESSIONS Utilising their pre-existing global partnership with SOCIAL COMMUNITIES, activate a global campaign across their social OVERproﬁles on Twitter, unifying their local markets to come together AND 2.6K ENGAGEMENTS. and ‘hear the cheers around the world.’ According to TechCrunch, whilst there have been other pre-existing emoji coupled with hashtags in the past, this was the ﬁrst instance of an emoji explicitly created for an ad deal.
BRANDS ENHANCING AND DIVERSIFYING MESSAGING combining language with emoji BRAND CASE STUDY: ALOFT MANHATTAN DOWNTOWN HOTEL X TIGI New York’s Aloft Hotel now allows guests to order select packages straight to your room by texting an emoji to room service. The new initiative called “Text it, Get it” (TiGi for short) presents 31ST STOREmenu of IN HALE BARNS. of emoji corresponding to a speciﬁc set of items. THIS WEEK SAW BOOTHS’ guests with a OPEN “packages” compiled WE provide Coca-Cola, Doritos, Snickers and chocolate EVENING your STORE OPENING AND SAW A company Innocent ran Packages such as “The Munchies”,LIVE REPORTED FROM BOTH THE PREVIEW brownies to ANDdoor. Although not a new idea (drinksGREAT RESPONSE an emoji “mocktail” pop-up at Shoreditch Boxpark in LondonFROM BOOTHS’ SOCIAL COMMUNITIES, INCLUDING 203K COMBINED REACH, OVER 1 MILLION IMPRESSIONS over the summer), Aloft is the ﬁrst hotel group to adopt the idea into its central room service offering. AND 2.6K ENGAGEMENTS. Although the concept may be deemed ‘gimmicky’ to some, the hotel group is reporting profound success of the initiative and is looking to roll out the emoji room service to its hotels in Europe, Asia and the rest of the US, further demonstrating emoji’s popularity in the commercial sphere.
BRANDS ENHANCING AND DIVERSIFYING MESSAGING combining language with emoji BRAND CASE STUDY: TACO BELL EMOJI ENGINE Celebrating the recent launch of the taco emoji by the Unicode Consortium, Taco Bell created 600 pieces of unique content to be automatically tweeted back to whoever included the taco emoji in a tweet to the American restaurant chain.SAWcontent will be collated on ta.co, the microsite BARNS. the initiative. THIS WEEK The BOOTHS’ 31ST STORE OPEN IN HALE created for Users who tweet Taco Bell an emoji will receive a photo or GIF combining the two images. Alongside this offering are four limited-edition "taco holster" packages. WE LIVE REPORTED FROM BOTH THE PREVIEW EVENING AND STORE OPENING AND SAW A GREAT RESPONSE FROM BOOTHS’ SOCIAL taco emoji itself. Taco Bell genuinely advocated for taco-shaped emojis 1 MILLION IMPRESSIONS This was not an ad-backed campaign but a petition for theCOMMUNITIES, INCLUDING 203K COMBINED REACH, OVER since November 2014 when it set up a Change.org petition. AND 2.6K ENGAGEMENTS. Since then, the petition has collected more than 33,000 signatures, signalling a genuine interest to the deciding body, the Unicode Consortium, who released it as a new emoji in June 2015.
CHANGING CONTENT MARKETING FOREVER the power of emoji
"Emoji usage is an evolution of how the younger mobile consumer communicates,so it's logical for brands to follow those conversations." -Noah Brier, CEO of Percolate
CHANGING CONTENT MARKETING FOREVER the power of emoji PLATFORM CASE STUDY: REACTIONS From stars, to hearts, to monkey faces, platforms are now embracing the need that users have to express themselves with more than just a ‘like’ or ‘favourite’. With the ability to diversify the waysWEEK SAW BOOTHS’ 31STemotionalOPEN INto onlineBARNS. Facebook and Twitter are now trialling ‘reactions’: a more concise way to share how THIS in which users can share their STORE response HALE content, you’re feeling. WE LIVE REPORTED FROM BOTH THE PREVIEW EVENING AND STORE OPENING AND SAW A GREAT RESPONSE FROM BOOTHS’ SOCIAL of content that ﬂoods in our direction on a daily basis REACH, we simply don't have the time or attention span to properly absorb it. The ever-increasing and frequently unmanageable quantityCOMMUNITIES, INCLUDING 203K COMBINEDmeans thatOVER 1 MILLION IMPRESSIONS AND 2.6K ENGAGEMENTS. These reaction-based additions to our expressive repertoire will allow for timely, instinctive responses, highlighted best by our much-loved digital visual media: emoji.
CHANGING CONTENT MARKETING FOREVER the power of emoji PLATFORM CASE STUDY: SNAPCHAT’s USE OF EMOJI Already a distinctive feature on Snapchat within both identifying our most interactive contacts and as an embellishment of our own visual messages, emoji are now acting as visual signiﬁers of Snapchat’s biggest stars. THIS WEEK SAW BOOTHS’ 31ST STORE OPEN IN HALE BARNS. Devised to aid search functionality, emojis will now be added to the most popular proﬁles on the platform to help differentiate them from the day-to-day Snapchatter, in a new feature named WE LIVE as an exclusive feature for those ‘in the know’, it may be extended to all Snapchat users in the future. “Ofﬁcial Stories”. Whilst it currently actsREPORTED FROM BOTH THE PREVIEW EVENING AND STORE OPENING AND SAW A GREAT RESPONSE FROM BOOTHS’ SOCIAL COMMUNITIES, INCLUDING 203K COMBINED REACH, OVER 1 MILLION IMPRESSIONS AND 2.6K ENGAGEMENTS. Providing the aim of becoming ‘Snapchat Veriﬁed’ will become a challenge for most brands, as content marketing demands constant and consistently on-brand messaging through visual media. Emoji, whilst they can also be used as adornments in users snaps, are now being used as hierarchical signiﬁers on the platform, demonstrating both a transcendent and conspicuous quality.
CHANGING CONTENT MARKETING FOREVER the power of emoji BRAND CASE STUDY: EMOGI- DIGITAL REACTIONS True to form, Emoji are evolving at a disproportionate rate that can no longer be contained within social media. Product developer, Emogi are now offering reaction-based feedback plugins for global brands to use as and where they see ﬁt for their digital communications. With a mission statement to “make the power of expression universally available and useful”, Emogi’s products offer brands the ability to react instantly to whatever they may encounter as a result of a brand’s digital marketing. By capturing sentiment around marketing content, the products help brands to utilise the information captured to deﬁne strategy, insight and ultimately, creation of new content, to ensure relevant and timely digital media. Emoji are now being used as the basis for reactive marketing, informing brands of an emotive response to any and all content that they share. Which in turn, lowers the barrier to entry by providing a language-free form of feedback to any and all consumers, across the global digital sphere.
Emoji allow us not only to process information faster, but to react quicker and form emotive opinions almost instantly. Social media platforms and brands alike are now cashing in on this trend by utilising reaction-led feedback mechanisms through emoji, to gain insight into their consumers. Equally they are serving as popular additions to language-based digital communication, to elicit further meanings which would otherwise require lengthy passages of text. Not only does this cater to our ever-increasingly fast-paced world, but it also adds nuance to an otherwise emotionless and hard-to-read conversation online. Beyond this, we are seeing developments of these responsive pictograms which are allowing for an evermore diverse audience, not contained by the barriers of language, but encouraged to go beyond words and convey pure sentiment in the form of reaction-based communication. As for the future of social, in a world driven by visual stimulants, emoji will continue to feature as being central to communication for both brands and consumers as they express themselves in the digital space.
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