4 Examples of Exceptional Emoji Marketing Efforts

On a recent episode of the Speaking Human podcast, we announced the eight brands in our Emoji Marketing Madness Bracket. Well, guess what? We’ve narrowed down the field!

Below are the emoji marketing efforts that cracked our final four. We’ve summarized what each of them does well, and what your brand can learn from them about successfully using emojis in your marketing.

Awesome & Inspiring Emoji Marketing Campaigns

Here are four marketing efforts that get a grinning face and a thumbs up for their use of emojis…

1. PETA Cruelty Beyond Words Emoji Video

Learn more about this effort here.

What It’s About:

Using simple animation and a steady piano tone, PETA shows how popular consumer products equate to animal cruelty. As part of this campaign , people can also text a heart emoji to find out what actions they can take to help.

Why It’s Great:

It’s simple and memorable and delivers a profound message. You can watch it quickly and instantly take away what you need to get from it. Which is ultimately what emojis are all about.

PETA Emoji Video

2. Mentos “Ementicon” Custom Emojis

Learn more about this effort here.

What It’s About:

Are you feeling “mombarded” or maybe “regrext” but you have no way to express yourself because the basic Unicode emojis don’t cover that emotion? Don’t worry, Mentos has “a fresh way for you to express yourself” with these 20 downloadable “ementicons”.

Why It’s Great:

A clever and elaborate effort with emojis for situations (and terms) people talk about everyday. This collection is witty, fun and shareable. Mentos also describes each “ementicon” through short videos showing they put some real thought into this effort.

Mentos Ementicon Emojis

3. Deadpool Emoji Billboard

Learn more about this effort here. 

What It’s About:

People driving around L.A. prior to the release of the movie “Deadpool” caught a glimpse of a simple billboard that grabbed their eyeballs and made them decipher the short emoji message. It had a skull, a poo and an “L”. The message? Dead-poo-L.

Why It’s Great:

This is perfect simplicity. It stands up and says, “Yeah, I’m gonna do this”… and it works. It uses the simplicity of emojis to make people think—not long and not hard—but enough so that when the final message clicks it sticks with you. That’s what all great marketing does: It makes you react and it makes you remember.

Deadpool Emoji Billboard

4. Durex Emoji Condom Campaign

Learn more about this effort here. 

What It’s About:

While there are a lot of emojis available (many of them very strange and non-useful), there are still many feelings and actions missing from the standard emoji set. Durex has identified a key one: A safe sex emoji. The company is asking people to support this idea by using the hashtag #CondomEmoji.

Why It’s Great:

It’s an idea many people can get behind (how great would a condom emoji be?), presented in a fun way, with a clear and simple call to action: Use this hashtag. It’s obviously incredibly brand relevant nicely pairing the thought of condoms with the Durex brand name in people’s minds. And it could actually be accomplished—Taco Bell had a similar campaign to add a taco emoji to Unicode and they succeeded.

Durex Condom Emoji Campaign

What Your Brand Can Learn About Emoji Marketing from These Efforts

Here are a couple of key takeaways to keep in mind:

1. Sometimes it pays to jump on the bandwagon.

If you see your customers are engaged with something that’s become mainstream, consider finding a way to interject your brand. We’re talking about emojis in this case, but it wasn’t too long ago we were talking about Facebook and Twitter in the same way.

But remember, not every initiative is going to be valuable to your brand. The key is finding the ones that are and experimenting. And as with all trendy things, don’t build your business model on it because it can change just like that.

2. Keep it simple.

Don’t lose sight of the key idea behind emojis—to relay information in a quick, easy and understandable way. So you want to make sure you’re leveraging that element with your messaging and not just using them because you think “hey, young people are using emojis!”

Use emojis in a way that’s going to make your message more impactful. If your marketing efforts is not going to have greater impact because you’re using an emoji—and this goes for texting as well as marketing—then just use old-fashioned words.

Want to know which of these four efforts made it to our championship game, and who took home the ultimate emoji mastery prize? Listen to part two of our emoji marketing madness podcast now!