10 Media Trends for 2015: Symbols & Emojis


As communication becomes more instinctive and less driven by language, the web and broader communication will become even more visual. Images are easily processed by the brain in comparison to text.


The rise of social networks such as Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat all rely on visual language and have expedited the uptake of new, visual forms of communication. While photos have typically led the way, the rise of tools such as stickers and emojis now presents a powerful opportunity to communicate in a universal way. Research has shown that humans react to an emoji in the same way that they react to real human faces. Interestingly, the use of emoji’s in status updates also opens up the potential of ‘mood targeting’ consumers in social environments.

Status in Australia.

Brands are expanding interactions into consumer conversations. Karl Lagerfeld created his own emoji project called emotiKarl. Fans are even creating their own icons to fulfil desires such as a Seinfeld emoji edition.

The Australian Institute of Fitness recently used Snapchat as a mechanic for a competition, encouraging creative use of the design function.

Karen Walker has made a name for herself, her quirky sunnies and even more surprisingly, her advertising campaigns. Here’s her latest hero, Toast the dog, but previous campaigns have used glam grannies and African tribeswomen… giving the designer a recognisable visual tone.

Implications for brands.

1. Content comprised of compelling images get 94% more views on average than those that don’t. Learn to use visual language in all areas of branded communications.

2. Youth brands have benefited from their trial of Snapchat and WeChat. Align your brand with a certain image tone or social platform to build positive associations – but test and learn what your audience likes!

3. Craft visual symbols and icons for your brand to circulate within the realm of stickers and emojis, but think about how and why your brand can be part of a consumer’s social conversations.

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