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Emojis – Do they have a place outside of social media?

Posted on 23rd November, 2017 by Greg Doyle

Online Marketing

You may have noticed that emojis have moved beyond social media and are now being seen in all types of marketing campaigns and even printed media. But do they really have a place in marketing outside of social media? In this post, we’ll try to answer this question and work out if you should be using them for your business. First off let’s take a look at some examples where emojis have been used in traditional advertising and look at the good and the bad.


McDonald’s completely nailed the use of emojis in their good times series of adverts which included easy-to-understand stories told through the medium of emojis. They also included their own branded emojis in the campaign that are instantly recognisable thanks to the ubiquity of this American fast food chain.


The adverts appeared on posters, in print and also on their social media channels and were a great example of how emojis can be used by brands.


Chevrolet completely missed the mark back in 2015 when they sent out a press release entirely in emoji format about the release of the brand new Chevrolet Cruze. While this did generate lots of media coverage for the brand, most of the coverage was negative with no-one able to decipher the cryptic text. There’s a moral to this story, if your audience has to try and decipher your marketing message, then you’re definitely doing it wrong.


It totally makes sense for some businesses to use emojis in their marketing as a way to connect with their audience. But before you start adding emojis to your marketing you need to ask if it’s appropriate for your business and target audience.  So now you know what you can and can’t do with emojis let’s take a look at some ways that you can include them in your marketing materials.

Email Marketing

Emojis are increasingly being found in email marketing campaigns, especially in the subject line fields. They offer marketers a way to help their emails stand out in a prospect’s inbox while also helping to emphasise offers and add a human touch. Just remember not to overdo it. A relevant well-placed emoji will work much better than filling your message with meaningless emojis that could be misunderstood.


Did you know you can search for emojis in Google and have relevant businesses returned in the search results? As you’ll see from the example below doing an emoji search for pizza near me using the emoji symbol can show where you can get a pizza from. At the moment you don’t need to include the emoji symbol in your page content to be shown in the results but it may be a sign of things to come when emojis start to appear in website title tags as well as in onsite content.



With a growing number of millennials and generation z forsaking most forms of printed media does it really make sense to use emojis in print? Well, the answer is it depends. Based on your business type and your target audience it may well be a great way to help your business stand out from your competitors and inject some fun and personality into your marketing.

Just remember that if your marketing message is hard to understand or takes time to work out because of your use of emojis then you should probably go back to the drawing board. Emojis can help your brand stand out but they’re not a silver bullet that will instantly improve your marketing.

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