At what point did emojis jump the shark, ceasing to be clever or new? At what point did we, as consumers, get sick to death of brands turning up late at the party, shouting 'Hey, we brought emojis!' only to be greeted with a forlorn and disappointed shake of the head. If not very arguably at some point last year (around the time McDonald's introduced a huge OOH 'tell the story through emojis' campaign), then today. Today is the final death knell in the story of emoji advertising.
Presenting high-end department store House of Fraser and their new online campaign #Emojinal. The crucial difference between this and other more popular campaigns - most use these little figures to do something new, or position them in some unseen yet innovative way, the best example being WWF's Emoji Extinction. The campaign doesn't seem to have any idea, and in lieu of that simply hits you round the head with as many emojis as possible.
Rather than using emojis in a way that seems unprecedented and fresh - like ordering a pizza with a pizza emoji - this campaign expects us to be impressed by the emojis themselves. One has to wonder what they were thinking.
Feedback on twitter has been popcorn-worthy.
— Chris Edwards (@_ChrisEdwards_) February 1, 2016
— Niki (@TheNikiGrant) February 1, 2016
— SodOldHolborn (@FreeThinkingUK) February 1, 2016
@houseoffraser What's the name of your marketing agency again? They need to go. Seriously.
— Ruth d'Andilly-Clune (@ruthdandilly) February 1, 2016
So there we have it... massively out of touch brand tries to be cool on the interwebs and ends of looking like a slowpoke.
Or is there more to it? Is House of Fraser trolling us all with an intentionally bad emoji campaign? Something so overblown and cringeworthy, so over-the-top, that we'd all sit up and notice, retweet and share with our friends? If so, genius. This is the movie equivalent of Sharknado 2: The Second One. This is a fusty fashion brand turning up at a rave in shutter-shades on MDMA.
I'm calling it now - this is a brilliant hoax. No one is intentionally this stupid.