Universal Language

Julie Baxter

The use of emoji brand icons is the digital phenomenon of the 21st century. Now Skysupply has an exclusive global partnership to bring them onboard. Julie Baxter discovers more

Amenities specialist Skysupply has forged a new aviation partnership with international icons superbrand, emoji, ‘The Iconic Brand’, to bring the universal language of its digital characters onboard.

Already used daily through 10 billion clicks, the emoji portfolio has become a deeply embedded part of communication culture worldwide since the advent of the smart phone, and is now appearing increasingly across a wide range of lifestyle products and in alliance with diverse consumer brands.

Skysupply managing director, Wolfgang Buecherl, says: “This is a unique cobranding opportunity for the travel sector. So often a brand or character is linked to a movie, but the emoji brand offers a whole world of communication in its own right. Now we have the opportunity to create new aviation themed emoji brand icons and use them as both infotainment and entertainment, right across the passenger journey.

Buecherl envisages airline passenger experience campaigns developed around purpose-designed airline-branded emoji icons which could be featured on physical items such as kids kits and amenity kits; menu materials and meal packaging, and lounge products on the ground.

In addition, any brand-specific emoji brand icons can be downloaded by the airline’s passengers for use in their own digital conversations. Any contact receiving a message with the airline’s emoji brand icon would then be able to share it too. The icons could be used within a carrier’s own app or messaging services, support loyalty programme communications and form part of augmented reality games and services.

Buecherl says: “The customisation opportunity is key. The style of an emoji brand icon can reflect the style, colours and looks of the airline’s brand. Emojis have become a universal language, they work across all ages, genders, nationalities and religions and the potential across the travel sector is hugely flexible. The tailored characters can evolve and develop year by year to create a customised portfolio.

Skysupply began investigating the project with kids kits and inflight amenities primarily in mind but, adds Buecherl: “The more we thought about the emoji brand icons and spoke to the creative team, the more we saw the potential of the concept. The partnership gives Skysupply access to emoji brand designers and icon sign-offs through a very simple process. The icons can be both of local and global significance, and present a truly universal language for airlines to use across the journey. The symbols transcend ages, borders, marketing and technology and allow airlines to really future-proof their products and campaigns.”

The emoji brand business began six years ago and is now established as the creator of one the most expressive and influential lifestyle brands in the world, actively used in more than 130 countries right around the globe.

The company has developed and owns the world’s largest library of copyright-protected emoji brand icons and now offers legal licensing for merchandising, promotions, events, marketing and advertisement campaigns for print, online or TV commercials. For travel companies this global partnership is now exclusively available through Skysupply.

The emoji brand business already has more than 900 partnerships with companies from multiple industries including with big corporations such as Sony Pictures Animation, Unilever, Kellogg’s, Nestlé, Universal Music, the BBC and Walmart but this is the first time the brand has been available in the travel sector.