The Case for Emoji Targeting

Dec 20, 2018 • Aaron Goldman

Emojis have come a long way since the days of Smiley Central. They now occupy a firm place in our ❤️ and even the Oxford Dictionary.

The also occupy a firm place in our ad campaigns. Ever since Twitter unveiled emoji targeting, we’ve seen our clients use them in new and innovative ways that drive improved results.

As with many forms of advertising, however, consumers are not always aware of how they’re being targeted. This past week, Vox put out an explainer video attempting to shed light on the practice.

In the video, yours truly served as sole Defender of Industry pointing out that the quid pro quo for using a free platform is that you’re served ads based on the information you volunteer.

Or, as I tweeted, “Sorry not sorry ?‍♂️.”

Aaron Goldman tweet about why advertisers are tracking your emojis

Snark notwithstanding, we can’t really expect consumers to show gratitude for relevant advertising. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own marketing ? we don’t see ourselves the way our audiences do. Remember, many of these folks are still convinced that Facebook is listening to them through their phones.

Sure, sharing emojis on Twitter is no different than typing keywords into Google so showing related ads seems like a no-brainer. But against the backdrop of Cambridge Analytica and a barrage of negative PR for today’s tech titans, we must go above and beyond to allay consumer concerns.

As we head into 2019, I encourage everyone in marketing to ? like a consumer every day and especially on World Emoji Day ?.

Now without further apologies, it’s time for the rest of 4C’s Insights.

Get the rest of 4C’s Insights Volume 139 here.