How Emojis Influence Consumer Behaviour & New Youtube Vertical Ad Automation

We’re back with another Midweek Media Breakdown, giving you the latest social media news through a digital marketing lens. This week… 👇

👀Do Emojis Influence Consumer Behaviour? 

👀Do Emojis Influence Consumer Behaviour? 👀 

A picture is worth a thousand words. But what about a smiley face wearing a tiny cowboy hat?

Whether you love them or hate them, emojis have well and truly cemented their place on the internet. Since the 2010s, we’ve been using emojis to provide context, emotion and humour to add a little ✨spice ✨ to the plainest of texts. 

Adobe has released its annual Emoji Trend Report, detailing the growing and changing trends surrounding the characters. They surveyed over 5000 emoji users in the U.S., and breakdown their findings in this 111-page report. They may be small, but the power of emoji pack quite the punch

73% of U.S. emoji users think people who use emojis are friendlier, funnier and cooler than those who don’t. From a digital marketing perspective, some of the most interesting insights are how emoji use can influence consumers’ willingness to purchase. 

Brands can use emojis to evoke emotion and communicate a vibe, mood or reaction. And the research shows they can be extremely powerful. 

Adobe’s report breaks down the generational difference in emoji influencing purchasing decisions: 

  • 71% of Gen Z are willing to purchase a product using emojis in their advertising 
  • 67% of Millenials are willing to purchase a product using emojis in their advertising 
  • 57% of Gen X are willing to purchase a product using emojis in their advertising 
  • 40% of Boomers are willing to purchase a product using emojis in their advertising 

The products most likely to be purchased by all generations* via emoji are clothing, takeout meals, streaming services and rideshare services. 

So, what does this mean for marketers?

As always, but especially when using emojis, it’s imperative to understand your audience. While emojis can foster communication, understanding and empathy (all important pillars when engaging with a community online) they can also be misunderstood. Emojis can present a challenge when misrepresented and perceived as impersonal or dishonest. Research shows that Boomers are the least up-to-date with emoji meanings and relevant uses. 

Across the board, the most misunderstood emoji are the cowboy (🤠), the upside-down smiley (🙃), and the cherries (🍒). The most popular emojis for 2022 are the crying laughing emoji (😂), the thumbs up (👍) and the red heart (❤️). 

It’s significant to note the research also shows that emoji use is constantly changing, impacted by popular culture and internet trends. However, US emoji users are more likely to identify emojis by their literal meaning, versus their trending uses. 

Whether you’re an emoji aficionado 💅or prefer a more professional tone 🤓, considering emoji use within your brand communication could prove to be highly impactful. Copywriters especially should work with the power of emojis, and not against them. 

Along with the new iOS updates, we’re about to welcome in a new batch of emojis (link), including a goose, moose and pair of maracas. Much to look forward to! 

*Data reflects U.S. sample size only.


📱YouTube To Automate Vertical Ad Optimisation 📱

YouTube has been looking to up its short-form video ad game for some time now. Following the likes of TikTok, Google is clearly keen to maximise the profitability of its Shorts offering.

In order to keep up with evolving video consumption trends, YouTube is now looking to optimise in-feed ads by testing a new automation feature that reformats landscape videos into square or vertical videos. 

Depending on how the viewer is watching YouTube, the goal is to create a more organic and streamlined ad experience on YouTube. 

YouTube has been developing a machine learning model to detect “important” elements of an ad. As explained by YouTube, “The machine learning model detects important elements in the landscape ad – such as faces, key objects, logos, text and motion – and braids the video into distinct scenes. This ensures that important elements show up properly – centred, for example – in the reformatted video.” 

This might sound concerning for media buyers and planners, and rightly so. The Meta Advantage+ Placements updates caused a fair bit of grumbling when Meta decided to ‘optimise’ assets as a pre-set. 

Perhaps for marketers just starting out, features like this might prove useful. However, for the seasoned professional, it does feel somewhat arrogant for platforms to develop these features which fiddle around with assets often tirelessly created. 

However, Google is standing by the development of this tech to help marketers on YouTube. Short-form video content is the number one trend at the moment and updates like this might make the transition a little easier for brands, with less editing required.

YouTube has stated that adding vertical creative assets to your Video action campaigns can deliver 10-20% more conversions per dollar on YouTube shorts than campaigns that use landscape assets alone. 

YouTube has confirmed this option is only available for App campaigns but will be coming soon to Video action and Performance Max. 

Thanks again for tuning into another weekly roundup with The Graygency. Check out our blog for more Midweek Media Breakdown posts.

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