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HomeSocial MediaAre Emoji’s acceptable in Marketing?

Are Emoji’s acceptable in Marketing?

Emojis – the much-loved Japanese craze was made popular across the world by products such as Apple and Android. Emojis can be used to express a whole range of emotions, making digital communications flow without any need for words. But are they acceptable in marketing? I delve deeper to find out whether consumers really relate to emojis in advertising or whether they cringe at each brands’ attempt to be ‘down with the kids’.

According to a survey by Appboy of more than 500 individuals, males are much more likely to have a negative perception of emoji use in general compared with females. Some 72% of women surveyed say they love emojis whereas just 63% of men say the same. Although consumers age 14-24 have a more favourable view of emojis overall, people age 25-44 are least likely to express feelings of anti-emoji.


A large number of consumers (70%) said that brands using emojis were fun, relatable or normal. However, the overall consensus was that it is not entirely professional and 23% believed it to be childish or inappropriate.


When asked whether consumers thought it was acceptable for brands to use emojis, a whopping 75% said that it was perfectly acceptable and they were open for brands to use emojis when contacting them through social media, text messages or messenger apps. However, people were less accepting towards receiving emojis through email or push notifications.


So it seems, as with any form of marketing, it really depends on who your audience is and where you plan on conveying your marketing message. Over 45s are not so keen on the emoji and definitely don’t want to see them in an email as it’s unprofessional and childish. However, 14-24-year-olds are more than happy to get on board with emojis and will relate better to your marketing if you include them on social media or text messages.


The overall key seems to be selecting the right emoji and one that really emphasizes your marketing message. Having an unnecessary overload of emojis that don’t really relate to the brand or marketing message will give your brand a look of ‘not knowing what it’s doing but desperately trying to appeal to a younger market’ which isn’t a good look for any brand. But if done correctly, emojis can have a real positive impact and appeal to a wider audience without expensive marketing tactics.


My top tips when using emojis in marketing are:


  1. Don’t over-complicate it
    You don’t want to share a whole story using emojis which will take longer to decipher than reading a text paragraph. Keep it short and sweet, only use one or two emojis in each post.
  2. Be on-brand
    Don’t use emojis just for the sake of it, only use them when they add something to your marketing. It’s important to stay on-brand with the emojis you choose.
  3. Be aware
    Remember that emojis look slightly different on different devices and not all devices even have emojis. Be careful not to use an emoji on one device that means something entirely different on another device.
  4. Be fun
    The main reason people enjoy emojis is that they are fun and they say everything without needing words. So, if you’re using them, make sure you’re having fun!


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