The Rise of Emojis

November 3, 2015
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Written by Charlotte Cahill

After the recent debut of new Emojis on iOS 9.1, I was inspired to dive more into emojis and how they’ve become a universal form of language!

Fill Me In:

An emoji is an emotional intelligence platform in real time, helping to depict sentiment, using facial expressions. Even further, they have been developed to include animals, weather, transportation, holidays, food and many more categories!

What about them?

Emojis are rapidly growing in popularity, as consumers and marketers are trying to align their strategies to allow people to interact with their brands by using them. In addition to social media powerhouses like Facebook using emojis, we’ve also seen consumer brands incorporate emojis, as well as sports networks, hospitality industries, and even political campaigns!

How Are Brands Capitalizing?

Social Media Powerhouses:

  • Facebook is testing out a set of reactions for the “like” button. This will allow for users to express more emotion behind their feelings of “like.”
  • Twitter has been one of the more popular social channels that brands are choosing to interact with consumers using their brand specific emojis.

Consumer Brands:

  • Coke became the first brand to take an active role in their own emoji, running alongside their “Share A Coke” campaign and hashtag. They commissioned their emoji rather than approximating another existing emoji.
  • Dominos recently started a campaign to enable customers to order pizza by simply tweeting the pizza emoji at the brand.


  • ESPN debuted emojis in sports highlights. While the reporter gave the highlights, emojis accompanied her words, popping up on screen as she spoke through them, keeping viewers engaged.
  • Sports professionals have been seen battling each other over Twitter using emojis rather than teasing and taunting words.


  • Aloft Hotels launched a “Text it, Get it” tool to innovate the hotel experience. The guest texts a string of emojis to the hotel and will receive the item/service ASAP. Menu items range from hangover cures and munchies to phone chargers and even a “surprise” delivery.


  • Hilary Clinton, the self-proclaimed emoji queen, now has an emoji of her own. An entire series of Hilary-themed emojis depict her in different guises.

A New Spin on Billboards

  • McDonalds used emojis on a billboard to display the ever-familiar frustration with traffic during the daily commute and the happiness that results once encountering a McDonalds.
  • New Relic beat everyone to the punch by using the ever popular and somehow charming, poop emoji. The billboard reads “Life’s too short for [poop] software.”

Who’s using Emojis?

A recent study found that 30% of consumers use emojis several times a day, and another 30% use them multiple times a week (2015 Emoji Report). 92% of the online community uses emojis and while the 25-29 year old age range uses emojis most frequently, there is a rise amongst other age groups, including those 35 and older.

Who doesn’t love Emojis?

After all, it’s just an excuse for grown ups to feel like kids again. We can use pictures to describe how they feel, reminding us of some of our favorite picture books. Not quite sure why they ever phased them out of books as we got older!?

Interaction with the Author

What emoji do you want to see next? Which brand or retailer would you like to engage with using emojis? Which brand or retailer sponsored emojis do you want to see created?

Tweet your responses to @collectivebias or @char_cathrill and tag your favorite brand/retailer!

Image credit: Anna Hoychuk /

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