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Dots 2016 - Prof. Vyv Evans, Linguistics professor and emoji expert at Bangor University

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Dots conference, Friday 16th September 2016, Brighton

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Dots 2016 - Prof. Vyv Evans, Linguistics professor and emoji expert at Bangor University

  1. 1. Adding value to brands…
 with emoji 1 Professor Vyv Evans www.vyvevans.net
  2. 2. Tennis ace, Andy Murray, ties the knot • Andy Murray married his girlfriend, Kim Sears, on April 11th 2015 • And, as is common, with today’s celebs, he sent his followers a wedding day message 2
  3. 3. But what got tongues wagging (and made headlines in the process)…. • His message took the form of a tweet made up entirely of emojis: 3
  4. 4. Today emojis are everywhere • The NY Subway has introduced a system, using emoji , to advise passengers of the status of particular subway lines: 4
  5. 5. A British magazine responded… • By producing an emojified London Tube map 5
  6. 6. Facebook has now also got in on the act… 6 Decisions, decisions, with the new reaction emojis!
  7. 7. Even an institution as august as the BBC has become involved 7 • Every Friday, BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat webpage tells the news in emojis: 2. One in four people don’t know the Dodo is extinct, a poll finds. 1. Four climbers find what they think is a Dodo chick egg. But it’s not. The bird has been extinct for 450 years 3. Four children win a science competition to genetically recreate the Dodo.
  8. 8. And even literary classics aren’t immune • Alice In Wonderland, a book of 27,500 words, has been “translated” into emoji Around 25,000 emojis have been used to create the Wonderland lattice 8
  9. 9. From the beginning of the ‘Wonderland’ lattice… The visual designer responsible uses an emoji writing technique he dubs ‘crypto-pictography’ 9
  10. 10. HOW WIDESPREAD IS EMOJI AS A SYSTEM OF COMMUNICATION? 10
  11. 11. Emoji • ‘Picture character’—from the Japanese • Glyphs embedded as discrete characters in digital keyboards • Available globally on smart phones and mobile computing devices since 2011 • Today, c. 1300 emojis 11
  12. 12. A point of comparison: English
 The Global Language • 335 million native speakers • 505 million speakers who use it as a second language • Primary/official language in 101 countries, from Canada to Cameroon, and from Malta to Malawi • Today, English is the global Lingua Franca in almost all areas of international communication: from commerce, to diplomacy, from aviation to academic publishing 12
  13. 13. But emoji dwarfs even the reach of English • 2 billion smartphone users, nearly ¼ of world’s population • 41.5 billion SMS messages are sent everyday • 6 billion emojis sent daily by SMS and social media apps – E.g., 114 billion emojis posted via Twitter since April 2014 • In the UK: – 42.4 million smartphone users – 80% of UK adults regularly send emoji; higher for under 25s • Being a visual form of representation, emojis are universally and, often, instantly recognisable 13
  14. 14. EMOJI AND BRANDS 14
  15. 15. What’s the appeal of Emoji? • Offers a great way for brands—on a global scale—to become part of the everyday conversations of people • They especially speak to younger users—the under 25 demographic is the most avid user group, and most likely to recognise emojis • Allows brands ready and direct access to a new advertising venue—the digital medium 15
  16. 16. Now for some terminology: emojis vs. stickers • Emojis are the Unicode Consortium approved glyphs, that appear as standard in digital keyboards on mobile computing devices (smartphones/tablets) • Stickers are bespoke emojis that users/companies create • Brands looking to create brand-specific emojis, aka stickers, have to make their own apps or partner with messaging apps (e.g., WhatsApp, FB Messenger, etc.) to have their branded emojis available • Finland—branded stickers that can be downloaded from iTunes or PlayStore • Taco Bell lobbied Unicode to add a taco emoji to its inventory. The brand circulated a Change.org petition that secured 30,000 signatures. The taco emoji was approved in 2015 16
  17. 17. Some strategies for building brand awareness using emojis • Link specific emojis to a brand, e.g., Taco Bell • Use emojis as part of ordering system e.g., Domino’s pizza • Set up bespoke emojis, e.g., Ikea, Coca Cola, O2 • Intervene in public discussion on emoji use, e.g., TalkTalk • Devise emoji ‘translations’ of English to make communication easier, e.g., Barclays Bank 17
  18. 18. O2 BUSINESS 18
  19. 19. PR angle • New study shows: six in ten British workers have noticed the way they communicate in the workplace has become less formal • Four in ten Brits now use emojis in work-related communication • Despite this trend, few work-related emojis exist to help professionals communicate • O2 has created 25 bespoke emojis, available from iTunes and PlayStore • Accompanied by Top Ten tips for effective business talk – using emojis 19
  20. 20. 20 O2’s bespoke business emojis 4G Fired Invoice Running Late Phrase: It’s on my radar Bonus Digital Connectivity Promotion Phrase: Low Hanging Fruit Phrase: Deep Dive Phrase: Work /Life Balance Phrase: Close of Play Phrase: Quick Win Work from Home Phrase: Disruptive Phrase: Lets touch base Phrase: Think outside the box Hot Desk Phrase: Brainstorm/ thought shower Conference call/ Spider Phone Deadline Out of Office Face to Face Meeting Hired Ben Dowd
  21. 21. Top ten tips: DOs 1. Do use emojis to nuance the meaning of your message—a wink shows that you are not being serious, or a confused face can build empathy; emojis add tone of voice, making your communicative intention clearer. 2. Do use emojis to avoid sounding like an angry jerk—electronic communication in the workplace can sometimes make the best of us sound like we’re plain hopping mad—a judicious smiley face can dress down an unwittingly face-threatening message. 3. Do use emojis to ensure your emails have personality. Nothing says “brain storm” or “thought shower” quite like the new O2 ‘brain and light bulbs’ emoji. 4. Do check you know what an emoji means before sending—this can spare potential embarrassment later on. 5. Do use emojis to celebrate special occasions in the workplace. Nothing wins friends and influence like a team player: use celebratory emojis to highlight company successes, and the promotions of colleagues. 21
  22. 22. Top Ten Tips: DON’Ts 6. Don’t rush into an “emoji relationship”—avoid emojis in a first time communication or with a colleague you don’t know very well. Emojis are most effective in maintaining rather than establishing electronic rapport. 7. Don’t overuse emojis—less is more; using emojis sparingly in business communication prevents you coming across as manic. 8. Don’t use emojis to replace words—you’ll look unprofessional. Use them at the end of a sentence, or message, to nuance and complement your meaning. 9. Don’t persist with emojis if your addressee fails to respond in kind—be sensitive to the ways in which others choose to communicate with you in professional contexts. 10. Don’t use emojis in multi-party electronic exchanges, nor in more formal electronic contexts—emojis are best deployed judiciously, in one-to-one email and instant messaging business contexts, to maintain rapport. 22
  23. 23. TALK TALK MOBILE 23
  24. 24. PR Angle • New research shows: emoji is the fastest growing new ‘language’ • 72% of 18 – 25 year olds find it easier to use emoji than words to express feelings in electronic communication • Over 40s lack confidence when using this new visual ‘language’ • Most popular - and confusing - emoji revealed • Emoji guide launched to help the confused 24
  25. 25. UK’s Top Ten Emoji 25 Emojis About Town
  26. 26. BARCLAYS BANK 27
  27. 27. PR Angle • New research shows: 40 per cent of Britons find talking about money more awkward than discussing relationships or bumping into an ex- partner • More than 30 per cent would rather be out of pocket than ask for money owed to them: – ⅕ of Brits have lost in excess of £100 in the past year due to this • Nearly half (49%) of young people said that emojis can make a conversation less awkward • Barclays teamed up with linguistics expert to create a bespoke set of emoji chains to help bashful Brits talk about money 28
  28. 28. A set of emoji chains to help bashful Brits talk about money, with
 
 I can’t afford it, sorry That’s too expensive! I’m broke You owe me money You’ve added that up wrong/ you’ve miscalculated that I don’t want to split the bill evenly, I didn’t eat or drink Can I borrow some money please? 29
  29. 29. TAKE HOME MESSAGE 30
  30. 30. Be creative! • A brand doesn’t need to be embedded in the digital sector, or have a specific emoji, to take advantage of emojis as a marketing tool • As any product and brand is consumed by people—and as language is the tissue that connects us all—there are a multitude of ways to create a PR angle, that views emoji as providing a new and brand-specific way of communicating • Think: how can I leverage digital communication, to create a space for a conversation about my brand 31
  31. 31. Further reading on digital communication at: www.vyvevans.net 32

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