The Emoji Report

Leading social listening tool, Brandwatch, analyzed every emoji published on Twitter for the past two years. They looked at over 6 billion emojis and tracked learnings across industries, time of year and gender. Read the full report HERE

Highlights include:

  • On average 250 million emojis are posted online each month. The month with the highest volume of emoji use was in July 2016, seeing 293 million. This was partly due to the UK’s European Referendum. In fact, in the months during and following the referendum, negative emoji use grew by 3%.
  • On average, 75% of the emojis on Twitter are positive and 25% are negative.
    • Over the last two years, the use of negative emojis grew from 23.2% to 25.4% – an increase of 9.5%
    • The largest volume of negative emojis was recorded during the month of the American election (8th November 2016). During the week of the election, negative emoji use grew to 28.9% (a two year high)
    • Negative emoji use grew by 3% in the months before and during the British EU referendum (23rd June 2016)
    • The highest percentage of positive emojis was recorded back in February 2016 (76.8%). This was partly due to hundreds of thousands of fans wishing @Harry_Styles a happy birthday 
    • 31% of emojis used over the past two years expressed joy
      • The use of negative emojis averages at 22.5% during the day (6am to 8pm)
      • However, during the evening (8pm to 6am) negative emoji use grew to 27.3% – an increase of 21%

      In a similar light, the volume of positive emojis increases in the run-up to the weekend:

      • The average usage of positive emojis on Friday and Saturday is 77.7% 
      • On every other day, it’s 76.2% – a 1.9% decrease

Key takeaways:

Emojis are perceived by many as just a novel way to communicate, and most of us underestimate the value of them.

In less than 10 years the volume and variety of emojis have skyrocketed. Today, 95% humans online have used emojis, making it the internet’s most popular language.

It’s clear from this analysis that the volume of emojis will only continue to grow and increase in importance – we’ve seen the variety of emoji grow, and with the total number of emojis expanding to almost 3,000. As such, more and more emojis will start to replace everyday words and phrases.

This makes the analysis of emoji usage online a vital activity. Brands, organizations, governments, and others can uncover genuine insights in monitoring emojis on a macro scale. Whether it’s assessing brand health against the industry average, or emotion by location.

Brands, in particular, are set to garner the most value from emoji analysis as it provides a real-time look at how their brand, products, and services are perceived online compared to their competitors.

That’s today, but it wouldn’t require much effort to imagine a world in the near future where the volume of positive or negative emojis next to a brand name could be used to help determine a company’s market cap. Or a world where a 100% increase in emojis that represent illness help identify potential health issues across geographies.

With that in mind, here are four predictions :

  1. Emojis will cement its position as the only language that allows us to communicate with anyone globally
  2. The type of emojis available online will continue to diversify (e.g. Animojis and Bitmojis)
  3. Because of this, emojis will start to replace text as the key provider of context in future conversations
  4. Brands, organizations, and governments will analyze the use of emojis on a macro scale in real-time.

What it’s hot:

As social strategists, we have this data at our finger tips. By conducting an emoji analysis for client brands and prospective clients we can bring a new understanding of audiences to strategy and marketing tactics.

KFC’s first FEMALE Colonel

KFC has a new celebrity wearing Colonel Sanders’ signature white suit and goatee—Reba McEntire, who stars in a new 60-second spot promoting the fried-chicken chain’s new Smoky Mountain BBQ flavor.


A 30-second version of the ad from Wieden + Kennedy in Portland will air during Sunday’s Grammy Awards broadcast on CBS. McEntire replaces the noncelebrity Colonel Sanders.

“[The creative team] wrote everything, the script and the music,” McEntire told Adweek. “I thought they did a wonderful job on it all. We had fun with it. I’d go in and sing it my way and they’d laugh and say for me to do it this way, and we’d all laugh.”

McEntire said she was “spellbound” in December when she was asked to be the first woman and first musician Colonel Sanders and that she enjoyed the way she was able to “portray what I do for a living as the Colonel.”

KFC Honky Tonk – Smoky Mountain Bbq

“With Reba’s southern roots and entrepreneurial spirit, she truly embodies the values of the Colonel and the crowd-pleasing flavor of our Smoky Mountain BBQ,” said Andrea Zahumensky, CMO, KFC U.S., in a statement.

The new flavor will be available at participating KFC locations on Jan. 29.

McEntire said it was hard at first to sing while wearing the costume, goatee and mustache.

“It took a while to get used to it because when they put it on me, it was glued on my upper lip, and then when you smile, that stretches out,” she said. “So we kept gluing it back on.”

She continued: “I got a big kick out of the transformation and wearing the wig. The hardest part was when they said to me, ‘We want you to eat this piece of chicken while you’re the Colonel,’ and I looked at them and I looked at the band and they had mustaches and I said, ‘How do y’all eat with the mustache?’”

McEntire is in four spots for KFC, with the potential for a fifth appearance, according to a rep for the brand. McEntire noted that it “would thrill me to pieces to continue it on.”


Why its hot: THIS IS A BRAND TO WATCH! They are constantly keeping fans on their toes, waiting to see what they will come up with next. This stands out from the crowd b/c they broke away from the tradition of having a male colonel since they were founded and for the first time have a female spokesperson. With inclusion and diversity being a hot topic constantly on the minds of consumers, this proves how as advertisers we have to be in tune with the world going on around a brand to breakthrough and grab attention. Cultural and social cues have so much to do with the messages brands are putting out.

Now You Can Order Food with Facebook

Ordering food for takeout or delivery is supposed to be simple. That’s the point. But somehow it’s gotten complicated. First you need to decide what to eat, then you have to sift through a bunch of options and services.

Today, we’re taking the time out of finding what you want to eat by officially launching the ability to order food for pick-up or delivery, directly on Facebook. People already go to Facebook to figure out what to eat by reading about nearby restaurants, and seeing what their friends say about them. So, we’re making it even easier.

Facebook combines options from a number of food ordering services like EatStreet,, DoorDash, ChowNow and Olo, as well as restaurants like Jack in the Box, Five Guys, Papa John’s, and Panera, so you don’t have to search through multiple places to find what you’re looking for. From local spots to national chains, Facebook connects you with old favorites and new discoveries in just a few taps. You can even check out what your friends have to say about a restaurant before you order your food.

You can browse restaurants nearby by visiting the Order Food section in the Explore menu. On this page, you can browse food options and select Start Order when you’ve found what you’re looking for. If the restaurant you want to order from offers takeout or delivery with multiple services, you can select which service you’d like to use. For example, if you have an account with, you can easily order with your existing login. If you don’t have an account with that service, you can quickly and easily sign up, without leaving the Facebook app.

We’ve been testing this since last year, and after responding to feedback and adding more partners, we’re rolling out everywhere in the US on iOS, Android and desktop.


Why its hot?

Social listening identified a trend among fans, the pains of ordering food! This Mobile integration will allowing brands to reach fans the moment they are making a decision AND make it even easier for them to pick and order without having to leave the facebook app/social scrolling.

The “Creator Era”

With the Super Bowl just around the corner, it will be interesting to see how brands are leveraging influencers through social media to be a part of the new “creator era.”

The Super Bowl and other live events are the last vestige of a dying era of mass media. Sports–along with The Bachelor, The Voice and other major primetime events–are the few programs that remain impervious to DVR ad-skipping, as the immediacy of the live coverage is key to the viewing experience.

But does advertising on these mass outlets still make sense with increasing prices and changing consumer preferences?

Since fewer alternatives now exist to capture consumer attention en masse, the cost of the options that remain has risen quickly over the past 10 years, as referenced in Harvard Business working paper The Rising Cost of Consumer Attention. A Super Bowl ad for 2017 sells for $5 million–an effective CPM (cost per thousand impressions) of $38, quite an expensive price for the least–targeted advertising buy available.

The cost per eyeball becomes even higher when you take into account the increasingly divided nature of attention today versus 20 or even just 10 years ago. It’s been well-documented that attention spans are shorter than they once were. It’s no longer just running to the kitchen to grab a beer during the commercials, but instead diving headlong into a second-screen device.

One out of three viewers now watches part of the Super Bowl on a mobile device, and 50 percent of this group are millennials. On Super Bowl Sunday 2016, there were 200 million Facebook posts and 27 million tweets about the game. Social media conversation is an ingrained part of major live events.

Studies have shown that millennials are often blind to traditional TV ads or even have a negative perception of brands advertised. Growing up with TiVo and YouTube has conditioned many millennials to be in complete control of what they want to see and when. The result is that social media and smartphones have made millennials both followers and creators.

We deem this new age of participatory social media the “creator era.” Collaborative social engagement is a much deeper experience than the passive consumption of a TV commercial. It’s here, in social creation, where brands will have much higher attention for their marketing dollar.

Why its hot?

As digital marketers we have a challenge, engage audiences within the shortest amount of time and overcome the “second-screen syndrome.” Millennials have grown up with the a negative perception of advertisements and brands interjecting themselves into spaces where they just want to be themselves and talk to friends. They are conditioned to be in control of what they want to see and when they want to see it. Social media in particular has made them creators. To engage this audience we have to provide them with content that is experiential and not passive like TV.

It will be interesting to see how brands approach the super bowl this year.. Snickers is testing a LIVE TV sport and more attention may be put on the second screen this year than past years. In the new “creator era,” successful brands communicate awareness in a personalized manner through co-creation with influencers and advocates speaking in their voice to their audiences.

Uber & Facebook Messenger Unite

Taking mobile transportation to the next level!

The mobile messaging war continues to heat up, and Facebook Messenger is betting that its size will make it everyone’s all-in-one app.

The Menlo Park, Calif-based company announced a partnership with Uber today that lets users hail a black car from Facebook Messenger. The feature is rolling out in the U.S. with plans to expand internationally.

People can sign up for Uber and log in to their accounts from Facebook Messenger, which is tied to a credit card. Similar to the ride-sharing app’s design, people can track their drivers, receive real-time updates about when their cars will arrive and view receipts at the end of their trips.

Uber is the first company to partner with Facebook on transportation services, and the social network said it plans to work with additional businesses.

Facebook has steadily worked on building Messenger into a marketing app for brands over the past year. In March, a small group of retailers began testing the app as a tool forcustomer service, and users can also send money to their friends through chats.

The beefed-up features suggest Facebook is taking a page from other messaging apps like WeChat that have exploded in popularity internationally with e-commerce platforms.






Breaking through the holiday clutter

KitKat’s Christmas Commercial Is 30 Seconds of Blankness, the Ultimate Ad Break A knowing antidote to holiday noise

It takes a lot to stand out among the glut of Christmas ads in Britain, where brands jockey like nowhere else to have a hit commercial. KitKat and J. Walter Thompson’s strategy this season is to cut through the clutter by uncluttering completely.

The Nestlé candy brand is breaking a 30-second spot on TV this weekend that features nothing but a completely blank screen—not even a logo at the end—and a voiceover that asks whether “just absolutely nothing” isn’t “nice for a change.”

Kit Kat Commercial

It’s witty and even sort of brave, though also, of course, a bit disingenuous. The ad isn’t “absolutely nothing.” It’s a meta exercise designed to command as much attention, if not more, than traditional spots. And the voiceover—smug, self-satisfied, more than a little judgmental, even humbug-ish—might be more irritating to some than watching a beautifully made, if less authentic ad.

Still, it fit does the long-running brand promise, “Have a break. Have a Kit Kat,” pretty perfectly. And that makes it more palatable as a stunt.

Why it’s hot: In this content cluttered world, its hard to stand out. This commercial shows how sometimes the best way to stand out is to take a step back and just say nothing. Interesting approach, curious to see how it performs!

360 Degree Video on Facebook

On November 11th, Walt Disney World posted a 360 degree video on Facebook leading fans through an exciting demonstration of 360-degree video technology, zapping them through a whirlwind tour of Walt Disney World Resort!

As the video runs, fans can use their mouse or turn their phone to view the video from all angles! It is a seamless experience and many fans commented it is just another ‘magical’ experience by Disney!


Why it’s hot: We continue to see a trend in people wanting to interact with content and overlooking content that is static. This is an example of a content format we can explore to grow engagement and make our audience part of the content-experience.

Snapchat-Like Mobile Ads on Facebook

Brands are just starting to play with Facebook’s full-screen mobile ads, but Wendy’s social marketers already seem to be having lots of fun with the new format.

The fast-food chain is running a campaign that uses a combination of photos, videos and GIFs to show how each layer of its hamburgers are made—like wavering pieces of cheese and a grilled beef patty.

“The Wendy’s quality story carries a lot of equity with our fans and we wanted to invite them into that story, literally layer by layer,” said Mike Bueno, director, digital marketing at Wendy’s. “We’re always looking for new ways to have fun with digital, and Facebook is a great partner in helping us do that.”

The ad prompts folks to swipe up when clicked on from the news feed—a gesture that’s core to Snapchat and its pitch to advertisers and publishers. It’s another example of how brands are creating more vertical video and content for specific platforms.

Other brands testing Facebook’s new immersive ad format include Gatorade, Michael Kors and Bacardi.

Take a look at the video and creative below.

Video here

Why it’s hot:
We should always be thinking of ways to improve the user experience and excite customers. These new ads prove how we can optimize content to fit the user experience and we should be creating content for platforms/devices it will be viewed on. It can be as simple as taking a square video and making it vertical so the user doesn’t have to flip their phone.

Generation Z

There have been many attempts to quantify the desires and attitudes of the millennial population. However, as millennials become simply another part of the digital landscape, and wider society in general, marketers are now turning their attention to the next up-and-coming generation of 12 to 24. A new infographic from market research firm, Wildness, examines the attitudes of Generation Z, in their own words.

According to the infographic:

They have created a new Cultural Currency that values uniqueness, authenticity, creativity, shareability and recognition. What’s different for this generation is not as simple as the internet or technology.Technology is an important component, but what’s changed is this generation’s relationship with culture.


This group is highly engaged not only in social sharing, but in the creation of content on social networks: 80 percent consider creative self-expression important. More than 25 percent are posting original video content weekly compared to the 26 percent of adults who have ever posted an online video. Additionally, 80 percent are on social media daily.

This social bent is taking the generation away from traditional broadcast mediums. When asked which device they would choose if they could only have one, only four percent chose television. Nine out of 10 survey respondents said they watch YouTube daily, and 70 percent prefer streaming over broadcast TV or cable. It’s safe to assume, then, that cord cutting will continue to grow, driven by this next generation of trend setters.

The focus on interactivity extends to the brands and celebrities members of Gen Z choose to follow. 52 percent enjoy connecting with their favorite stars on social, 60 percent talk to their friends and family about brands, and more than 77 percent find brand messaging on social networks appealing. If you hope to connect to Gen Z as a marketer, keep their values and tendencies in mind.

Why it’s hot:

As content creators we need to be aware that this new generation wants to be part of the process. We have to start thinking about how to include these ‘culture creators’ and make the content we share more of an experience and interactive than just informational.

Brands Start Hosting Real-Time Video Chats on Facebook

Media brands were quick to adopt video apps Periscope and Meerkat to broadcast live streams, and now Facebook marketers want in on that action.

Social platform BumeBox started hosting live Facebook chats for brands like VH1 and Discovery Channel back in October, as an alternative to the Twitter Q&As that brands typically organize. For example, Sony Masterworks set up a real-time chat on Facebook to promote a new album from artist Jackie Evancho last fall.

Now, MTV and iHeartRadio are plugging video into those virtual meet and greets.

Late Thursday afternoon, MTV set up a Facebook chat with Teen Mom 2 star Kailyn Lowry to talk about her show. And last week, iHeartRadio ran a Facebook Q&A with YouTube singer Max Schneider. He responded to eight questions from fans in one hour

It’s all part of Facebook’s plan to turn the site into a video platform for brands, publishers and creators. Clips are uploaded straight to Facebook through BumeBox’s platform with a branded logo at the top of the screen, similar to what Periscope streams look like.

The social videos aren’t technically streamed since they are uploaded, but the idea is to crank out responses through clips quickly, similar to how brands use Periscope and Meerkat to answer questions in real time.

Unlike Meerkat or Periscope, though, the videos are saved and posted to brands’ pages, which Chris Williams, iHeartRadio’s chief product officer, said is a major differentiator.

“What BumeBox allows us to do is start a conversation with the fans in our Facebook feed hours or days in advance, set the appointment to connect, and by the time the artist joins in, we have built anticipation and curated the best content for a compelling conversation,” he said. “Because of the way the video is published within the chain of conversation, it gives even greater opportunity for the interaction to be shared by fans pre-event, during, and post-event.”

Why it’s hot:

Brands can start a conversation in advance, build anticipation, and curate the best content for a compelling event. The live chat videos add a human face/voice to the conversation and bring the conversations to life.


A Smart Sunscreen Bottle

Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world, so to help protect people from the sun, a new R&D project has created the “ReApply Reminder” A Smart Sunscreen Bottle and iOS app designed to save lives by pro-actively reminding people when to ReApply Sunscreen.

Powered by custom Bluetooth LE technology in the lid, the bottle syncs with an iOS app, and automatically triggers the ReApply Reminder countdown from the moment a user applies sunscreen. The app then dynamically adjusts the recommended ReApply time, based on an algorithm that processes the live Weather, Location and UV Index Rating data to trigger “reminder” notifications designed to remind people to ReApply sunscreen before they get burnt.


The ReApply Reminder is a new innovation project created to explore new ways to keep people safe in the sun. Created & Engineered by VML Australia in partnership with Vitality Brands.

 Why it’s hot:

With the start on summer upon us, I thought this was a cool example of how digital technology is being incorporated into our everyday lives and in this case it can help us stay safe.

Source: Digital Buzz

Tap This Apple Watch App at Cannes, and Someone Will Bring You a Glass of Rosé


Sometimes you need to drink rosé right now, and leaving the beach to fetch it sounds like far too much work. At least, that’s the idea behind Rosé Time, a new Apple Watch app created for this year’s Cannes Lions festival.

Developed by mobile tech company Urban Airship and digital agency Intergalactic, Rosé Time uses beacon technology to connect with festival attendees who’ve downloaded the app when they arrive at the designated Cannes Lions Beach VIP Area. They’ll receieve a simple notification: “Rosé Time?” Click yes, and a glass is dispatched to your location.

“We wanted to be able to do more than just show up; we wanted to be able to inspire the global creative community with what’s possible in mobile,” said Scott Townsend, director of agency programs at Urban Airship.

Rosé Time will be active Monday through Thursday next week, from noon to 6 p.m. Roughly 10 staffer-servers, five each from the Intergalactic and Urban Airship teams, will be delivering the chilled glasses for free.

Townsend said the app came together in just two weeks. “Our goal isn’t really to serve thousands of glasses of wine. Our goal is to show people what’s possible in mobile, open their eyes to a cool experience. That’s why we’re delivering it, because we want to see the looks on people’s faces and be able to ask them about the experience.”

The exact brand of rosé being served has yet to be determined, but Townsend promised it would be high quality.

Why it’s hot:

This showcases what is possible in mobile and giving consumers a new experience to connect with a brand. This is only the beginning of what’s possible with mobile and this is an example of the creative thinking agencies are able to bring to life in today’s digital world!

Source: Adweek

8 Seconds: The new sweet spot for mobile video?


Instagram locks advertisers in to the 15-second social video ad, while Vine requires them to build six-second clips. As just about every platform and publisher pushes brands to run shorter videos that grab consumers’ attention, Pandora’s chief revenue officer John Trimble said he thinks eight-second promos could be mobile video’s silver bullet.

Late last year, Pandora rolled out Sponsored Listening, an ad format that lets consumers listen to one hour of ad-free music in exchange for watching a short video promo. Bud Light, Fox and Sony PlayStation have all tested the format since then.

Currently, those pre-roll videos are at least 15 seconds and can run up to two-and-a-half minutes. But it’s no surprise that getting people to pay attention for even 15 seconds is tough, causing Trimble to make the case for eight-second preroll. The idea is that an eight-second ad is a nice balance between the length of a six-second Vine and a 10-second video.

“As the competition for consumers’ attention heats up, we’re focused on developing ad products that are good for both advertisers and listeners—Sponsored Listening is a great example of that,” Trimble said. “Our video advertising product has performed well thus far, and we are exploring various video formats on an ongoing basis. Looking ahead, I could envision video and audio ads as short as eight seconds being something advertisers and listeners will be interested in.”

Pandora said it doesn’t have any immediate plans to start selling eight-second video or audio ads, but is considering it as a way to better target millennials and younger consumers.

Greg Manago, creative development and production lead for Mindshare’s content and entertainment division, said he liked the idea of eight-second video as an alternative to Vine’s six seconds. “It gives us another two seconds to work with,” he said. “The trick with mobile is to be engaging quickly without being annoying. You need to be very creative at this length, but we love a good challenge.”

Getting brands on board
Steve Carbone, managing director and head of digital and analytics at Mediacom agreed that snackable clips are needed on mobile, since some video ads are still sold as 30-second spots. He said that when consumers have a choice, they skip 50 percent of those longer ads halfway through.

That said, an eight-second cap could be a tough sell for brands that have already struggled to turn traditional 60- and 30-second ads—which they spent decades perfecting for TV—into shorter digital promos.

Plus, the growing fragmentation in how media companies sell video ads could make the eight-second video just one more headache for media buyers. Just last week, eMarketer cited more video options as a challenge that may hold back mobile spending. The research firm expects mobile video advertising to hit $2.6 billion this year.

“Most brands will struggle to tell a story in eight seconds, as they still think in a TV world,” Carbone explained. “Eight seconds requires a different level of creativity and a huge shift in how you need to get your message out.”

Why it’s hot:

As we continue to create and share video our struggle is how do we get the audience to watch the whole video?  Even 15 seconds is starting to feel too long with an audience suffering from content overload and short attention spans.  Today as marketers we have to deliver a compelling message in as little time as possible.  So what do you think the sweet spot of mobile video is?  Pandora thinks its 8.


This Airline Made a URL Entirely of Emojis


Emojis are usually pretty easy to use—unless you’re trying to type them into your browser’s address bar.
Norwegian Airlines decided its target millennial audience was probably up to the challenge, though, so earlier this week it partnered with several Danish influencers on Instagram to spread the cryptic URL shown above.
The brand says that on the day of the Instagram push, about 1,600 people visited the site, which announced a new direct flight connecting Copenhagen and Las Vegas. Normally that might be a disappointingly small number, but in this case the airline was intentionally trying to build buzz by playing hard to get.
“We know that young people aged 18 to 34 are incredibly complex to market to. Therefore we decided to take advantage of the target audience’s way of using emojis as well as the linear feed on Instagram to hype the destination,” said Tina Fristrup, senior marketing project manager at Norwegian Airlines.
Coca-Cola used a similar approach recently with its ad campaign featuring URLs made of one emoji each. Those ads also used Samoa’s .ws domain, one of the few that allows emojis (for reasons you discover in depth in this Washington Post explainer).
Norewegian Airlines’ URL was posted to Instagram not by the airline but by eight partner influencers, including a soccer player, music producer, models and bloggers. All told, the airline says, the posts generated 4,171 likes and reached an audience upward of 500,000 people.

“The campaign on Instagram will reach the target audience differently than they are used to,” Fristrup said. “This part of the overall campaign has been put to work to strengthen the greater story of Las Vegas, to capture the target audiences curiosity, and to communicate the message in an innovative and humorous way.”

Why it’s hot:

Norewegian Airlines put the audience front of mind when creating this campaign.  They combined pop culture and social media to reach 18 – 34 year olds in a creative way.  The campaign was able to stand out for doing something outside the box.


Source: Ad Week

The Colonel takes over Twitter

Colonel Sanders needs a little help with the Twitter.

The KFC colonel, who was recently revived as the chain’s advertising star, took over its feed Wednesday afternoon, saying he was excited to offer some “clear and concise communication” directly to the brand’s fans. Some 18 tweets later, it’s clear he needs to work on the concise part.

Along the way, though, he did manage to quote his own business philosophy, called “The Hard Way,” in its entirety. And indeed, this is the hard way to do Twitter—but maybe it will pay off in the long run.

See the tweets below.







Why it’s hot:

This is a creative use of the channel.  It goes against everything we are told about how to use Twitter, but it worked for KFC.  The brand leveraged its equity and told their story in a unique way that got the attention of the Twitter-sphere.  It all goes back to understanding your brand and doing what works even if it goes against the ‘norm’.

Source: Adweek