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Emjoi’s – are they here to stay?  Thanks to Steve Price and Paul Gardner who found this piece interesting enough to interview me on radio to discuss.

If you would like to listen to you can here – or the transcript is below :)-

Media, Marketing and Advertising – Radio Show:

Steve     Well joining us on the line now is Jo Macdermott CEO for the Next Marketing Agency. She’s just written a piece on emoji’s. Paul and Jo believe that they are very important, and Jo good evening to you.

Jo             Thank you

Steve     Do you use them all the time?

Jo             I’m a late convertor actually, I’ve only recently started to use them, so I’ll have to be truthful

Paul        Jo one of the things in the piece you wrote you talked about, we mentioned this just before, do emoji’s have any place    in marketing emails, the real question must be, do emoji’s have any place in marketing? What do you think? Your paper actually talks about the way work and subject lines. Let’s start with emails but then let’s talk broader about the other marketing context.

Jo             Sure I think they do because they display emotion and marketing at the end of the day really is about connecting emotion and people with brands and emotions and those really go hand in hand with that.

Paul        One of the things about the people with say with emails response you get back is, if it’s in capitals you are shouting at me, it’s very had to read a tone of that.

Steve     Is that right?

Paul        People say don’t want to put it in capitals I don’t want to shout.

Steve     True

Paul        You use it all the time, you use capitals all the time


Steve     I do

Paul        I know you are shouting at me, let’s be honest here

Steve     I just shout I don’t send emails

Paul        But emoji’s actually do the opportunity to really convey that emotion, as you said they stand out and I think you can shorten your subject line so it’s more easily displayed on the device. Now what are the other benefits it has?

Jo             I really do think that we’re living in a time where we have shorter attention spans so I think it’s a tool where we can really touch an emotion very quickly and get a smile and we move on. We are in the age that instant gratifications and they certainly tick those boxes.

Paul        Is it a fad?

Jo             I do think there is definitely elements of that however I don’t think we’ve seen the last of them. There’s a movie coming out next year, an emoji movie and I think if that takes off and then they’ll be here for a while yet.

Paul        How do you make a movie about emoji’s?

Jo             I know Sony took it up, Sony won the rights to it and it’s an animated movie which makes sense. So it seems to be that it’s going to be a visual VI experience where the movie is about someone living in an iPhone or the emoji’s in the iPhone looking up.

Paul        Steve how they make a movie about emoji’s they made a movie about turtles who were named after famous painters and carried out ninja moves


Steve     It’s very true

Jo             Anything’s possible

Paul        Jo you’re a Next Marketing Agency, you are CEO there, obviously a marketing expert you covered a lot, would you advise your marketing client to get into emoji’s?

Jo             Yeah I definitely think that there’s a place for it. If I had an ethics client so in serious trades and things like that absolutely not but there’s definitely a place for b to c world and in particular some categories and b to b as well depending on your tone of voice, depending on what you want to say. It’s not for everyone but I definitely think that there’s a place for it and I would make some recommendations around that.

Paul        We went through a stage a number of years ago, 20 or 30 years ago where smiley faces appeared everywhere, Steve would remember that stage. Steve has a lot of clothes with smiley faces all over them.


Steve     No

Paul        That he bought in the seventies, are we going to see the same thing, are we going to become emoji wearable with emoji launches and books on everything or is it going to stick to the digital side?

Jo             No I think it’s coming because part of the controversy around with the movie is that there is a guy in Germany who is claiming to own the trademark I guess, copyright over merchandise, he’s not the original creator he doesn’t take that but yeah he is challenging Sony over trademark around merchandise. So yeah I have a feeling that it’s going to get bigger before it gets smaller assuming that the movie goes well and I guess if we just look at the recent Pokémon craze, Pokémon is not a new idea, it’s been around for a while it just came up as a digital experience all of a sudden and people hopped on. So I have a feeling it will similar if the movies good

Steve     Knowing we were going to talk about this you both encouraged me to go into my smart phone and go into an area I’ve never been before which is I’m deep in emoji land now and gone down to objects, now there’s a plug as in a two pronged plug that you plug in the wall, why would anyone send an emoji of that? I have discovered there’s a microphone there which I think I may be able to use Jo, there’s an old even love this Paul an old style transistor radio with the aerial half up.

Paul        Don’t tell me its call a wireless?


Steve     Could be

Paul        I think the emoji’s are emerging more and more, what we’re seeing now is people starting to adopt them because of course those ones are available, every single person has a smart phone in the world and therefore you can’t copyright them you would not use those for a marketing campaign you would try and develop your own surely.

Jo             Absolutely and there’s plenty of brands that have done that, L’Oréal for example

Steve     Like

Jo             For example have done that with hair styling


Steve     Give us some examples

Jo             So L’Oréal came up with a stent of emoji’s around hair styles and colors which they look quite cute actually and there are I guess brands in the US, bigger brands that are following that trend.

Paul        So Jo if you were a marketing person and someone walks in the door looking very much like Shane Warne and says I got these emoji’s how do we market them, what do you say to him?

Jo             Get them on Twitter, send them out to your millions of Twitter followers. Yeah Shane Warne would be a great example.

Steve     Well he’s going to do it and he’s going to make money out it I imagine


Jo             Absolutely and I would trademark them, definitely get them trademarked and he’s the perfect example of a character who has shown a lot of emotion and he’s well known for emotion

Steve     He’s well known for texting

Jo             Texting, emotions, Twitter, it goes hand in hand, he’s a perfect candidate

Steve     Do you use them Paul?

Paul        I do use them occasionally, yeah I do if I got a quick response if somebody sends me a really really long email or SMS or something and I just want to say thanks very much rather than saying thanks very much I might just send a little smiley face.


Steve     Or you send back a face yawning

Paul        Well one of the ones I have done which was when my football side was completely polex one day I sent two emoji’s together, one was one with a red face and the next one was the gun next to it. So it was I had no calls for a week after that

Steve     Are we talking age specific here Jo although I must admit when your parents now in their 80’s, my mother in particular who enjoys being able to use an IPad and IPhone now, she’s found them so every message you ever get from your mother now has some sort of strange emoji on it because she realizes she can do it

Jo             Yeah absolutely, I think, look, I definitely thinks it’s probably relates easier to a younger gen but my mother in law has a beautiful Hotmail account and she spends more time of Facebook then anyone I know and I’m getting them from my mother in law who is close to 80 as well.

Paul        I’m not going to ask which ones she sends you


Jo             Well I’ve been a bit prolific this week because I am a Bulldog supporter

Paul/Steve           Oh no

Jo             I’ve been sending a lot of red white and blue and that’s all I’ve been saying and I posted it on Facebook after the game against DW West and all I put was red white and blue and I got so many likes and comments just from that and I didn’t say anything it was just that was my emotion and didn’t say anything, there was nothing said I was just so excited.

Paul        Have you got something prepared for Saturday?

Steve     That’s what I was going to say

Jo             No

Steve     Doesn’t that take us into a new territory, you have or do the Doggies have a grand final winning smiling Bull Dog emoji that everyone’s going to want to send out on Saturday night?

Jo             I hope so cause I’ll be sending it definitely

Steve     The club should do it

Jo             The AFL should have own for each every side


Steve     It’s like to modern version of getting the web poster Paul

Paul        Absolutely and that’s a really interesting thing look at the concept of it, it’s fun, it expresses emotion, it’s easy to do and its free. As a marketing person you would love that proposition to try and sell it.

Steve     Well let’s hope someone’s been smart enough to think about that Jo or I suspect Jos going to go away now do that immediately

Paul        Smarter than us

Steve     Good luck to your bulldogs on the weekend and thanks for helping us out tonight