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The History Of The Emoji, Google Female Emojis And Successful Emoji Ads In eCommerce

  • Written By CJ
  • Posted May 11, 2016
  • 4 minutes Read Time

A group of Google staff members have recently submitted 13 brand new emoji designs, in the hope that they will be given the green light by the end of this year.

This got us to thinking how emojis have played a part in eCommerce campaigns and indeed the history of the emoji. Could this be an avenue for your eCommerce hosting UK site to delve into? Step this way and find out more…


Emojis were first introduced in Japan in 1999 as a way of tech companies overcoming the overwhelming number of texts being sent at one time from the 80 million mobile users connecting with one another. Essentially, there were more and more people in Japan using picture messages, or MMS, to communicate. And due to the increased cost and size of an MMS mobile phone companies instructed their engineers to figure something out, and so the emoji was born.

The pioneers were a Japanese mobile phone provider called NTT DoCoMo. They broke the mould to become the first entity to allow users to add pictures of frequently used emoticons to their text messages.

The emoji eventually rose to global fame in 2011 after Steve Jobs visited Japan and discovered that Apple’s iPhone was missing the advanced tech that Japan’s devices were offering. So he had emojis installed on the iPhone iOS software release… you know the rest!

Google’s Feminist Movement

It was recently announced that workers at Google have proposed a new collection of emojis – including female plumbers, engineers, farmers, and chemists – focusing on shining a light on workplace gender equality.

Google revealed it has so far submitted 13 new emoji designs to the Unicode Consortium, which oversees the creation of new emojis.

The Unicode Consortium has the final say on the emoji ideas that make the cut and includes 11 voting members, made up of Google, Microsoft, Apple and Facebook employees.

The four-person Google team behind the idea said the emojis portray “a wide range of professions for women and men, with a goal of highlighting the diversity of women’s careers and empowering girls everywhere”.

The emoji ideas that have been put forward are mechanic, farmer, chef, teacher, doctor, nurse, scientist, graduate, office worker, IT worker, factory worker, assembly line staff, and singer.

All of the professions that have been suggested would be available in the form of both males and females.

The submission the Google team used utilised a widely-quoted shared opinion piece which was published in the New York Times entitled ‘Emoji Feminism’.

Their submission added: “We believe we can have a larger positive impact by adding 13 new emoji that depict women across a representative sample of professions.

“We believe this will empower young women (the heaviest emoji users), and better reflect the pivotal roles women play in the world.”

You can see the proposed emoji list by following the link here.

Emojis In eCommerce

Reports claim that up to 92% of internet users use emojis. So how has that had an impact on the eCommerce market and businesses utilising this kind of information?

There have been several standout emoji-based ad campaigns, Dominos, Miracle-Gro, and Ikea, to name a few, but it was Chevrolet who came up with the campaign that blew all others out of the water. Chevy did an amazing job at creating one of the standout examples of using emojis in eCommerce marketing. In fact, the American car manufacturers went so far as to create an entire emoji press release for the launch of their 2016 Chevy Cruze car.

They even added to the campaign by releasing a video that ‘translated’ their ad, which you can watch here:

There are roughly 21.7 million views across paid social and display channels, along with the 18-times higher engagement rate on Twitter to the name of the #Chevygoesemoji campaign. Not bad, eh?

Hopefully, this will have gotten the creative juices flowing at your Magento eCommerce company. We can’t wait to see the next big thing!

Video courtesy of Chevrolet/ YouTube.