Ford revealed today that it was behind a successful campaign to obtain a preselected truck emoji for the new wave of new characters. It's a reasonable addition to the long list of emoji currently available to us: pickups represent a growing part of car sales in the United States, but its development comes with an important warning: Ford did not disclose that it was behind the proposal of make the new emoji. , according to The Atlantic .
The truck emoji represents a benefit for Ford in particular, as it is the market leader in the category. Pickups are also more profitable for car manufacturers, so there are incentives to push consumers towards them. Ford made a commercial, narrated by Bryan Cranston, promoting his achievement in the creation of the emoji.
Ford's participation was not stated in the emoji proposal, which was presented under the name of someone from a marketing firm that works with Ford. The proposal refers to Ford and other automakers, and even includes a photo of a competitor's truck. In a statement, Ford said the employee of the marketing firm was named "to provide adequate credit to his creative design team." The marketing firm, Blue State, also does not appear in the proposal.
The Unicode Consortium, which oversees the development of emoji, seemed upset, but not completely worried, by Ford's announcement. Jennifer Lee, vice president of the emoji subcommittee, told The Atlantic that Ford's participation "probably should have been revealed," but that it was nonetheless a "solid proposal."
Although the consortium has given an initial Approval for the emoji, the inclusion of the tablet in the next batch of characters is not final. The group will decide early next year what emoji will actually be added to our phones; most will succeed, but some will be cut. Given that Ford is disclosing its participation now, the consortium can take disclosure into account if it is not happy with the use of a marketing campaign. (Ford advertising notes that the emoji will be available soon, "with luck.")
And although the truck emoji model looks clearly like a Ford pickup, that will not necessarily be the case if the emoji were to hit. our phones. Each company has to develop its own version of each emoji character, and that model only serves to guide them through its consistency. That means that it is likely that all the pills are left, and may be blue. But the exact designs would vary, making the images more generic.
Brands have a track record of using public delivery processes to their advantage, only to see them backfire when consumers find out. Burger King once edited Wikipedia to include an ad on its page for the Whopper, but it closed quickly. The North Face also edited Wikipedia to work its products and its logo on images throughout the site. Both situations ended with a criticism of the companies for the secret use of the site for advertising.
Emoji has also been considered as a relatively open forum that supports and responds to consumer demand. Anyone can send a proposal to Unicode and present their argument for inclusion, and in the past they worked to get emoji that better represent diversity and accessibility. That's not a process that looks great for a company to take advantage of, even if the trucks naturally fit in with the current selection of emoji cars, trucks, taxis, tractors, ambulances, police cars, fire trucks and race cars.