Announcing the campaign on its Twitter account with the hashtag #LoveYourCurls, Unilever points out that in the current emoji keyboard, - which is a collection of small digital images used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication - only icons with straight hair were present.
"Emojis are a universal currency for communicating. Unlike written language, people understand what it means to share a smiley, a heart or an airplane," said Christian Brucculeri, CEO of Snaps, who developed the keyboards with Unilever.
The strategic objective of campaigns like these is to reach young adults in their most widely and most often used channel, messaging, with content that is humorous and conversational.
Significant social issue
According to marketing publication Advertising Age, Unilever’s vice president of Haircare Marketing, Rob Candelino believes they can promote their products and also address a significant social problem.
"When 73% of people in [the US] claim to use emojis every day, they're very quickly becoming the new currency of communications," he says.
The problem is, that even though a lot of women have naturally curly hair, they cannot find an emoji that looks like them, which can make them feel left out.
So, working with end-to-end marketing platform for mobile messaging, Snaps, the skin care maker has developed the curly-haired emoji keyboard, which is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play.
It fits in with the Dove ‘Love Your Curls’ campaign which was launched last year, and is being promoted on Twitter with the LoveYourCurls hashtag, which sees a custom Dove Curly Emoji auto-generated within the tweet, every time it is shared.
The project also builds on Unilever’s previous work with Snaps, which announced last month that the food brand Walls, would become the first to have a similar project launched featuring emojis, stickers, and GIFs.
"This partnership with Snaps is a great example of how Unilever is partnering with start-ups through the Unilever Foundry to take them from 'start-up' to 'scale-up'," said Jeremy Basset, Head of Unilever Foundry, on this partnership.
"What's exciting about Snaps is it puts our brands at the heart of the conversation, helping us move from interruptive advertising to interactive brand engagement."