WIRED, Edgewell Personal Care & Chevrolet Let Emojis Poke Some Fun into Business as Usual

Most of us probably interact with at least one emoji a day. We see them in our private text messages, personal emails and now they’re a meaningful part of the greater media machine that saturates modern life.

Emojis have been creeping their way into our mediated communication steadily over the past decade. Creator, Shigetaka Kurati invented them as an easy way for cell phone users to communicate sentiment. He was looking for a way to make expression of feelings more simple and direct. This was similar to the shortcodes people used on pagers. Remember 07734, turned upside down (looks like hello!) ?


Emojis now show up in consumer goods commercials and even on the cover of magazines. WIRED magazine’s cover, a 2016 Finalist in the ASME’s best cover contest – Brainest category –  featured one simple emoji and a few dots.


The magazine said of its cover:

“Creating a cover for WIRED’s first Sex Issue was a delicate task. We spent many months crafting balanced and thought-provoking editorial for the issue, which touched on all aspects of sexuality through a WIRED lens. But coming up with a singular image to represent this breadth of content was a challenge, and we went through nearly 50 cover options, ranging from sexy to scientific to quirky to safe. Ultimately, we arrived at the most WIRED cover possible: the emoji for sex, followed by the three dots of anticipation.”

An ad released last month by Edgewell Personal Care, the owners of Schick® & Skintimate®, brought emojis to life by depicting some of the most common emojis by actors in this music video-esque spot.

So, not only are we seeing more emojis in general but new expressions of them in conjuction with more traditional media/advertising formats. See the Chevy Cruze’s use of emojis in this common ad scenario – real people (not actors) try it.

Some find emojis integrated into advertising to be insulting. Yet, more Google searches including ’emoji’ are occurring now than they have in the last five years prior.






T-Mobile Ups the Stakes in the #NeverSettle Match

t-mobile welcome

While AT&T and Verizon are duking it out for customers, T-Mobile jumps into the fight to give consumers yet another option. Calling itself, the “un-carrier,” the telecommunications company is looking to persuade diehard Verizon fans to switch to their service with this tempting offer: try the T-mobile network risk free BEFORE switching.

The #neversettle trial offer started in the middle of May and will extend until June 27th allowing Verizon customers to port their numbers to the T-Mobile network for 14 days. If trialers like their experience, T-mobile will pay for their early terminations fees sanctioned by Verizon (that’s up to $650.00!). Even, if they decide not to go with T-mobile, T-mobile will pay any Verizon re-activation charges.


The average consumer can be set adrift by any ad campaign that keys into their instinctual needs and desires (read: I need cheap phone service). But, when you throw in benefit-rich, emotionally-driven, value-compatible messaging (read: We’ll take care of you and give you the freedom you desire, we’re the “un-carrier”), even the savviest technophile may start to consider alternative options.

What’s of more interest is T-mobile’s use of the same hashtag that Verizon featured in their commericals: #Neversettle. Hashtags aren’t trademarked or reserved in any way (at least not yet) and they are an easy way to catalogue all of the conversations that are happening and content that’s being created surrounding the topic. What’s more, T-Mobile has turned the #neversettle hashtag on it’s head to include #NeversettleforVerizon.

What’s great about America is that our advertisements are far less regulated that other countries. You’d never get away with directly challenging the competition in other countries’ campaigns.

See the #Neversettleforverzion ad here:

Will you give T-Mobile a try this month? I probably won’t, but, I do applaud them on their savvy campaign execution.

Two Email Subject Line Tips for Your V-Day Campaigns

valentine imageryIf you are like most marketers you capitalize on certain times of year to get even more exposure for your messages. Around Valentine’s Day, consumers are inundated with so many love messages, I’m sure they feel a little love sick. They may even be seeing red through all that romantic imagery. To help you find the middle of the road and nail it this Valentine’s Day, here are two tips for your email subject lines.

Crystal Clear

You may have a fancy pants copywriter on hand that’s addicted to implied messages and subtle hints. Be wary, he/she isn’t good news for your Valentine’s campaign. Here’s why: AWeber Communications found that it’s better to be clear than to be catchy. Their case study showed a clear subject line can get 541% more clicks than one that makes the reader think.

Super Short

People don’t like to think while they browse their email. They act in a stimulus response nature, seeking out what seems the easiest and has the highest reward. Similarly, whatever you decide to write in that subject line — make it snappy! MailerMailer showed that the highest performing subject lines are between 4 – 15 characters!

I’ll leave it up to you to come up with the right combination of form and function when assembling the actual words in your subject lines. You want to attract attention, make them curious and tell them what their reward is. Here’s one hint I’ll give you, some people are keen on the word “sweet” to get Valentine recipients to open. Hug your mom for me and tell your paramour that I said “Hello!”

HOPA Dry Erase Girl (2010) makes a reappearance on social networks


Facebook’s recent deal to acquire WhatsApp, makes me think that we are getting closer to having one primary social network that we do everything on. While, the logistics of such a feat are complicated, I wouldn’t be surprised if within the next five years, there are only 2-3 primary game players in the social networking sphere.

But the “big boys” wouldn’t get anywhere without content! Stories that are similar to one another tend to become popular around the same time and are repeated over and over in a culture (read: meme). Floating around Facebook this morning is a story about a young assistant who quits her job via a dry erase board. Take a look at it here. It was revealed later that it was a hoax put on by two masterminds at the Chive.

This story is four years old, but due to a recent resurgence of stories about female employees who have quit their jobs, it has gained interest again. The story is similar to the Super Bowl commercial where the puppeteer quits her day job and the story about the woman who was frustrated with the company’s focus on quantity over quality who teasingly left her post  via viral video.

Content creators and social media savants, make sure you are watching the trends and have relevant content top of mind and queued for publishing!

Super Bowl XLVIII: GoDaddy supports real woman’s puppetry passion [Video]

I watch the Super Bowl because it’s a significant media event and it’s a fun opportunity to get together with friends. One of the ads that caught my attention and is listed among one of the best by Seth Stevensen, writer at Slate, was GoDaddy’s ad in the second quarter. Watching it in a crowded room of people, I had no idea what was really going  on when it aired. But, after looking more closely, I can see the ad emphasizes a twist on the typical American dream.

The traditional American dream ideology emphasizes that you need to work hard and become the best at something and then stick with it. The woman, Gwen, shown above, “quits her day job,” to pursue her passion for providing puppet shows for children. Not what you’d expect an upstanding American citizen to do.

The ad also is seemingly the only one that aired during the Super Bowl that featured a real person (leave comments below if you saw another one). GoDaddy capitalized on the desire and thirst that our culture currently has for authenticity and connection. While the ad differs from GoDaddy’s traditional “Look! Hot chicks” angle, it matches the messaging of their recent television ads that focuses on small business owners who need an online platform.

Gwen’s “I Quit” ad is reminiscent of the video that went viral back in the fall featuring Marina Shifrin, another real person who quit her job to pursue her passion. Both videos evoke the boldness and tenacity that’s required to take a step in a new direction without knowing what will happen. This tolerance for risk-taking is entrepreneurial in essence, again, another nuance that ties into our common American cultural identity.

I am interested to find out how many traffic hits, leads, and booked shows Gwen gained from the 30-second TV spot. I also wonder if Gwen will become a reappearing character in Go Daddy’s TV ads moving forward like Geico’s gecko. We shall see. . .need a puppet show? Contact Gwen via puppetsbygwen.com. Need a standup comedian, check in with Marina here.