The happy faced emoji spewing tears of joy isn't just the "word of the year," it's a certifiable craze--and one that brands have quickly moved to capitalize on.
From social media posts to emoji keyboards, the mobile icons have been popping up all year long in companies' marketing materials and advertisements. They even served as the language Chevrolet used in a press release in June.
Not convinced that we're entering emoji overload? Here are just five ways brands have jumped on the mobile icon bandwagon this year:
1. Holiday Inn Express, BREAKFA-moji
InterContinental Hotels Group, one of the world's leading hotel companies, recently announced the launch of the Holiday Inn Express brand's BREAKFA-moji keyboard. That's right, the new keyboard features 25 playful breakfast characters--allowing you to order everything from cinnamon rolls to oatmeal with a wide, yellow faced smile.
"With the launch of our new BREAKFA-mojis, we are further integrating breakfast and technology, giving people a fun and creative way to share their love of breakfast and the many delicious choices available at Holiday Inn Express hotels with their friends and family," Jennifer Gribble, vice president of Americas Holiday Inn Express, said in a press release.
2. McDonald's, Emoji Video Ad
The fast food chain brought the mobile icons to life in a French ad that features a city full of people with animated 3D emojis for heads. The ad was directed by We Are From L.A., the studio behind Pharrell Williams' "Happy" video.
3. IHOP, Logo
In June, The International House of Pancakes unveiled its first new logo in 20 years, proving that it's never too late to turn a frown upside-down. Kirk Thompson, IHOP's vice president of marketing, told Buzzfeed News the prior design looked like a person's frown, which prompted the logo update. Suitable for the Emoticon Era, the new logo features a smiley face, rendered by a red swipe under the letters "O" and "P" that make up the eyes.
4. Chevy, Press Release
To celebrate the reveal of its new 2016 Chevrolet Cruze, the automaker released an emoji press release titled #ChevyGoesEmoji, challenging people to decode the news. The translated version was published soon after to everyone's relief.
Craig Daitch, Chevy's senior manager for social media, explained to Business Insider the intentions behind the press release: "Because emoji is international in its adoption, we wanted to have fun and be irreverent with our audience."
5. Dominos, Emoji Ordering System
Dominos was awarded the Titanium Grand Prix at this year's Cannes Film Festival for its Emoji Ordering, a new service where people can place orders saved in their accounts by tweeting a pizza emoji. The breakthrough idea is so far one of the most innovative ways a brand has utilized the mobile icons.
The pizza chain took it one step further by releasing a set of "Emoji Literacy Flashcards" designed to help the uninitiated "speak" emoji.