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How brands have used emoji marketing successfully

Author's avatar By Jessica Wade 17 Jul, 2017
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5 awesome examples of how brands have integrated emojis into their marketing campaigns

Happy World Emoji Day!

Whether it’s a customer service reply or a marketing campaign, brands all over the world are using emojis every day. Emojis present an opportunity to connect with consumers in a fun, informal and creative way. For many, emojis express more than words and over the years we have seen more emojis used by some of the most well-known brands.

How do you feel about using emojis? According to a recent survey, 59% of people aged 18-34 say companies are trying too hard when using emojis in ad or marketing campaigns. It was also found that 53% of young people think mixing emojis with text helps people better understand each other.

Here are five brands who successfully incorporated emojis into their marketing. We will look at how they did it and why it was successful, to help you use emojis effectively and appropriately in your own marketing strategy.

Domino's Pizza

Dominos made it possible to order pizza through the use of a pizza emoji. They reduced the time it takes to order to five seconds, making the purchasing process for the customers simpler.

Customers just needed to set up a Domino’s account and choose their favorite pizza, then link to your Twitter account. You could then tweet Domino’s with the pizza emoji, and your favorite pizza would be delivered. It was reported that in one day, more than 500 people across the US used the emoji ordering system.

Hillary Clinton

As part of Hillary Clintons presidential campaign, she launched Hillarymoji, which included over 30 emoticons, stickers, and GIFs. These could be used by users to show their support and share on social media. This was a great way of tapping into the interests of her younger voters, increasing her exposure and engagement.

Emoji apps have become popular among brands creating their own emojis for their loyal fans. Kim Kardashian was one of the first to try this concept out with her own Kimoji app.


WWF integrated emojis into their #EndangeredEmoji Twitter campaign in aid of saving animals from extinction. They created 17 emojis for endangered animals and encouraged users to donate 10p every time they retweeted one.

WWF's campaign received 559,000 mentions and 59,000 sign ups in the first month of its launch. Their aim was to fundraise and raise awareness endangered animals for the first time using a social platform. Using a new language they were able to attract a whole new audience, by targeting millennials.

Deadpool’s emoji marketing campaign

On the run up to the release of 'Deadpool' it was reported the emoji ad helped Deadpool break all the box office records for an R-rated movie. They used just 3 emojis to spell out 'Deadpool' in a humorous and creative way. These billboard ads definelty caught the attention of many fans.

The emoji worked because they changed the context of emoji use. By using the ‘smiling poo’ emoji, already one of the most uses emojis, people saw the ad as funny and mischievous. Look at how you could add humor to your marketing using emojis. Although you need to be careful with your approach, doing the unexpected can catch the attention of your audience.


McDonald‘s used emojis as the artwork for their ads. They used a series of Emojis which told a story, resulting in a burger and a smile. They used emojis to associate positive thoughts towards the brand. This was a simple campaign allowing McDonald’s to tap into the pop-cultural conversation. One thing we can learn from this campaign ad is that it doesn't have to be complicated in order to be effective.

As marketers evolve with their customers they need to use new technologies such as emojis if they want to truly understand and emotionally connect with their target audience. Therefore, consider whether or not emojis are suitable for your brand and if they could add value to your campaigns.

What are your favorites examples of emoji marketing? How you feel about using emojis in your marketing? We would love to know your thoughts, Tweet us and let us know what you think.

Author's avatar

By Jessica Wade

I was previously the Social Media Executive for Smart Insights and managed all of Smart Insights social media channels and social strategy. I love all things social, most of the time you will find me endlessly scrolling through Instagram. You can follow me on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.

This blog post has been tagged with:

Digital marketing trends 2017

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