Meet the Field & Pick the Winners of Our Emoji Marketing Madness Bracket

It’s March Madness time, baby! Always a fun time for college basketball—and marketing. This year we’re adding a little color and emotion to March Madness by pitting eight emoji marketing efforts against each other in a bracket to determine which iconic implementation gets the ultimate smiley face.

Below, we reveal the contenders and give you the chance to vote for the teams you think should win our first-round match-ups. But first, let’s dig into emojis a little bit and why they’ve become such a hot marketing commodity…

Why Are Emojis Such a Hot Marketing Trend Right Now?

If you don’t know what an emoji is, you’re probably not human. But since we love all creatures (including glowing mouth alien furballs), here’s a quick definition:

Emojis are digital icons used to represent emotions or ideas

They standard emojis you see on your iPhone or Android phone are controlled by Unicode, a universal “language”. Getting new emojis added to Unicode is a somewhat complex process (read more on that here).

Why has using emojis become such a hot marketing trend? For this simple reason: 92% of the online population use emojis. *This stat comes from the 2015 Emoji Report. Popularity and common usage (along with a perceived “hip” factor) have made emojis ideal for marketing communications.

As a final indicator of just how popular emojis are, the ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ emoji was named Oxford Dictionary’s 2015 “Word” of the Year—marking the first time a pictograph achieved that honor.

In a nutshell, emojis are taking over human communication and could eventually be the only language we speak. Now onto the bracket…

Meet the Contenders in Our Emoji Marketing Bracket

These eight big brands have made a splash using emojis in their marketing:

1. PETA Cruelty Beyond Words Emoji Video

This sad-but-true video from PETA uses a series of emojis to outline the cruelty that animals endure in the name of fashion.

2. Chevy Cruz Emoji Press Release

This is a press release announcing the 2016 Chevy Cruze done entirely in emojis that readers essentially need to “decode” to read.

Chevy Emoji PR

 

3. GE Emoji Table of Experiments

In this online experiment, GE uses emojis to create its own customized periodic table to promote and educate people about science.

GE Emoji Table of Experiments

4. Mentos Ementicons Custom Emojis

This is a customized, downloadable emoji package created by Mentos to describe feelings that standard emojis don’t cover—like “hangry”, “bromantic” and “like-a-boss”. Mentos also created short videos to explain each “ementicon”.

Mentos Ementicons

5. Deadpool Emoji Billboard

This was a fun little marketing ad by Twentieth Century Fox to promote the new “Deadpool” movie via a billboard in Los Angeles. Get it?

Deadpool Emoji Billboard

6. Say It With Pepsi Emoji Packaging

An upcoming effort Pepsi is launching this summer to personalize their product packaging with over 100 different custom emojis.

Say It With Pespsi Emoji Packaging

7. Dominos Emoji Text Ordering

Dominos has created a way for people to simply text a pizza slice emoji to place a pizza order.

Dominos Emoji Text Ordering

8. Durex Emoji Condom Campaign

The condom line Durex is pushing for the addition of a condom emoji so people have a way to represent sex (specifically safe sex) while texting.

Want more on this topic?

You can hear our picks for the winners of round one by listening to this episode of our podcast now.