Smiley faces have been recognized for decades for their ability to communicate happiness without words. When Harvey Ball drew the first one in 1963 for an insurance company’s internal moral campaign, which paid him a meager $45, he certainly didn’t expect it would become a cultural phenomenon lasting through the decades.
As technology has taken over our world, the simple smiley face has evolved into its own form of communication — we call them emojis. There’s even a day for them — World Emoji Day on July 17 — and as consumers grow more interested in them, beverage companies are as well.
With this unique holiday approaching, and Pepsi launching its PepsiMoji campaign, it seems like the perfect time to talk about how beverage companies are embracing this form of communication in their digital marketing efforts.
Some brands, like Bud Light and Coca-Cola, have been active with Twitter’s emojis for a while now, but the smiley-face icons now are emerging in bigger ways. For example, while Pepsi is including emojis on its packaging, it also is launching an emoji keyboard app, which is a move several companies also are making. The free, downloadable keyboards offer branded emojis that users can include in text messages and social media posts.
Starbucks also launched its own emoji keyboard app in April. Its app features favorite Frappuccino-blended beverages, iced tea, coffee and even a purple unicorn sipface, the company says.
Although studies show that technology-and-media-drowned generations prefer pictures over reading, these apps are a fun way to get involved in their day-to-day lives. Domino’s Pizza still rides high offering ordering for delivery service via emojis, but perhaps, one day grocery and beverage eCommerce will offer a similar service.