Emoji Ad Campaigns on Rise as World Emoji Day Nears

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Seeing more emojis all the time? Even more will likely flood mobile devices and computers when World Emoji Day hits, July 17.

People already use a lot of emojis with—and instead of—words in text messaging and social media conversations.  But brands have also joined the hype.

Brands used emoji in 2,680 marketing campaigns—an increase of over 600 percent in one year since June 2015, according to a study released July 14 by New York-based mobile marketing platform Appboy.

From Domino’s customers ordering pizza via a pizza emoji, to animal lovers donating to the World Wildlife Fund by tweeting their favorite endangered animal emoji, companies and organizations are employing new and creative ways to use the tiny digital characters for their brands.

Appboy found that each emoji campaign has had, on average, 326,000 recipients since October 2015.  Still, more than one-third of mobile phone users have never gotten an emoji from a brand, it said.

Brands who have yet to join the trend may want to consider who they are targeting and how they prefer to get emojis. For example, although people aged 25-44 are more open to receiving emoji brand messages via text, those 45 and older prefer their emoji-enhanced messages e-mailed, the study said. With World Emoji Day coming up, brands should quickly decide which emoji to send where—and how.