With more than 2 billion smartphone users, according to eMarketer, we are living in the age of emojis— images you can incorporate into text, email, twitter, Facebook and chat applications. The idea is to use an emoji as a shorthand, non-verbal communication tool. Don’t confuse these with emoticons.
Thanks to the Unicode Consortium– a non-profit group formed in the 1980s to promote standardized coding—we have these little darlings to punctuate our digitals communications via FB, Twitter, Instagram, emails, Messenger and more.
WE ALL USE THEM. We cop to it, and so should you.
The blogs and marketing news outlets are all abuzz this week about the infiltration of emojis into the marketing space, once the sanctum of the finely crafted word.
Brands as diverse as Bud Light, PETA, Foot Locker and Oreo have launched emoji-based marketing campaigns. As a direct agency, we are at the leading edge of trends and progressive elements within marketing. But we can’t help but have some misgivings at the same time.
Herewith, our love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with emojis:
- It’s not what the Great Men of Letters had in mind.
- Sociologically speaking—we are drifting toward a non-verbal dystopia where human interaction is almost non-existent.
- Many words currently in Webster’s will cease to exist due to lack of use.
- Emojis themselves seek to standardize all emotions, common things and experiences into a certain set of pre-existing guidelines.
- It’s the lazy person’s default communication form.
- Once the province of tweens, emoji use infantilizes adults who rely on them frequently.
- Emoji use is a safe, keep-you-at-a-distance, no-commitment thing.
- They discourage the handwritten communication form even further, i.e. the death of the thank you note.
- If there is no emoji for it, will it exist?
- Goodbye to the phone call and voicemail.
- Emojis drive impatience.
Ok, so we’re being old school. On the positive front, we get that the battle for customer ADHD attention spans is an epic, front lines war. And we know that emojis are an example of an additional tool in our toolbox.
And yes, we’ll use them.
Direct Choice Inc. is a full-service direct marketing agency that has worked with national and regional brands in a wide variety of vertical markets. In addition to this blog, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn