Have you recently tried hand-writing a letter or birthday card with plain old pen and paper and not tried to draw out an emoji? Or maybe you hesitated while writing because you didn’t have an emoji-at-thumb to perfect the tone of the letter? It just shows how reliant we have become on communicating with our beloved emojis.
Emojis can effortlessly and instantly say everything we want to say without needing to type the words out in a text. And no emojis is the equivalent of total “radio silence” ?. We’ve even gone so far as to gesture certain emojis when communicating in person (hands-over-eyes monkey emoji). How did emojis becomes this important and instinctively integrated into our daily lives?
In the spirit of World Emoji Day, let’s find out how this all began and how it has become relevant to digital marketing agencies in Cape Town and across South Africa.
How it began
What started as an innocent colon and bracket to make a smiley face has now evolved into a gallery of 2823 emojis (and counting) that we can use to express exactly how we’re feeling and what our body language would be saying if we were there IRL. If you didn’t know World Emoji Day was a real thing, take a closer look at the date on your calendar emoji. Can you believe they’ve only been around (as we know and have come to love them) for eight years?
And they’ve exceeded the boundaries of text-communication for which they were intended. Facebook and Skype, for example, have their own set of emoticon reactions that can be used to interact with content. More than that, these faces, flowers, flags, food, families, buildings, sports, and random things have created a truly universal language.
Do you speak the language?
Every emoji-user speaks their own dialect of “emojish” and you only figure out what someone really means after exchanging a fair amount of messages. It’s true, if you’re being honest with yourself, you can totally relate to this.
Some people use certain smiley faces when talking to certain people, colour hearts for friends and red hearts for loved ones, the shrugging emoji in place of a question mark or to indicate a questioning tone, for example. And you know you’ve done something seriously wrong when the person you text all the time starts using different emojis with you.
Then there’s the issue of using emojis to represent something other than what the actual emoji is. I need not say more than peaches ? and eggplants ?… you know who you are. But there’s no denying that there’s a universal language that has developed from the use of emojis. It’s the only way to be clear on what you’re trying to communicate when grammar and words are not enough.
And its use is not only limited to texting with friends either. Which is where top marketing companies in Cape Town can benefit.
Why are we talking about it?
Marketing campaigns and emojis are quickly becoming besties. Take the Domino's Pizza emoji campaign where you can order a pizza by tweeting a pizza-slice emoji or the Deadpool movie emoji billboard. Not to mention how the Samsung Galaxy S9 has allowed the user to create an emoji of themselves. Because, well, whose life goal isn’t to be an emoji?
Marketing companies in Cape Town and across the globe have the world of emojis available to them as a millennial marketing tool (or even just a relevant marketing tool). If you can use them appropriately and in their right contexts, as the world has come to understand them (beware the eggplants), you can boost your brand in the marketing sphere. And you can have a whole lot of fun doing so.
Happy World Emoji Day. Here’s to looking forward to the next generation of emojis!