You’re not anybody until somebody emojis you, at least according to Moji president and CEO Oliver Camilo. Emojis have taken off as popular new content for major brands. Those expressive faces have taken on some of the most famous celebrities not limited to Kim Kardashian. The reason is simple, Camilo says: it’s the type of content that people can easily relate to. And it’s also the space that brands absolutely have to be in.
“Before, it was you had to have an Instagram, or Facebook. Now you need to have your own emojis,” Camilo says.
Moji recently released a brand new emoji collection for Denver Broncos defensive stalwart and Super Bowl MVP Von Miller for the start of football season. Whether he’s riding the iconic bucking bronco or tending to his flock of chickens, fans can choose from dozens of Miller expressions. Miller is a magnetic pitchman for such brands as Old Spice and a Dancing With The Stars veteran. No stranger to the celebrity circuit, his star power naturally lends itself to the communicative platform. Camilo said the new collection has done phenomenally well.
“For Von, I think it was particularly easy because he’s just so animated and charismatic and fashion-forward,” Camilo said. “Von was very instrumental in creating the content himself. It made our jobs a lot easier.”
— Von Miller (@Millerlite40) September 8, 2016
But Moji isn’t the only player in the NFL emoji game, Camilo said. The NFL Players Association released a collection that includes a strong set of All-Pro players, and Twitter released custom emoji hashtags for every team this season—fans can even purchase jerseys using emojis. Then there are transcendent talents like Odell Beckham Jr., who like Miller, have their own keyboards altogether.
For Moji and Miller—who spent part of offseason researching extinct animals—capturing the pass-rusher for his most relatable traits is what keeps the new release relevant and engaging.
“Fans think it really captures his personality off the field,” says Camilo. “With someone that’s as charismatic and animated across the board as Von is, we really wanted to capture that. It’s not just Von as the Denver Broncos player, but it’s Von Miller who is a chicken farmer.”
Sports emojis are nothing new for Camilo and company. The start-up released an emoji collection for NBA MVP Stephen Curry in June, and at the start of the 2016 Olympics later in the summer, released collections for Michael Phelps and Simone Biles.
“We definitely see our product do better and become more relevant if there are games currently going on,” Camilo says.
The emoji craze is, of course, not limited to sports. One of the most well-known emoji collections comes from Kim Kardashian, while other smaller brands are in the expressive ring, too. Meanwhile major brands like Pepsi and Volvo have featured emojis in recent ad campaigns as well.
Advertisers may be wondering if all this “emotion” is sustainable?
Recent research from the firm Appboy said the audience is split, and not surprisingly, that split is generational. But in general, the survey found that people respond well to emoji-based marketing.
Just ask Camilo—the space isn’t going anywhere.
“This emoji and sticker space is so popular right now,” continues Camilo. “Everyone wants to get into it but they don’t necessarily put too much thought into it. They just ship a product that doesn’t have much relevance. We come strong with the content we create. It really goes back to creating content that generates revenue and increases brand awareness or to provide another touch point for consumers.”