Oxford’s “Word of the Year”… An Emoji.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 12.56.03 PMOxford made history by announcing this week that the “Word of the Year” would not be an actual word, but an image known as an emoji.

“Emoji have come to embody a core aspect of living in a digital world that is visually driven, emotionally expressive, and obsessively immediate,” the Oxford team stated.

Shigetaka Kurita from Japan is credited with inventing emjois in 1999, but the reality is that using images to communicate one of the oldest forms of human language from prehistoric times etching on caves can be found in cultures around the globe.

peace-for-paris-hed-2015.jpgThe power of images in global communication that transcends language, race, and geography, is a beautiful thing especially in our technologically connected world.  Just think of how quickly Jean Jullian’s “Peace for Paris” image of the Eiffel Tower combined with the peace symbol spread across the internet moments after last Friday’s terrorist attacks.

As noted in a recent Ad Week article about Jullian’s image, a prominent author and designer put it best: “We need symbols to express what we cannot say.”

As someone who runs a global business, I’m so inspired to think of modern marketing and society’s ability to leverage the language of images and symbols to communicate across boarders. Even if emojis do look quite cartoonish and juvenile, the power of what they can accomplish is important. Bravo to the team at Oxford.


About Us: Moco Global is a marketing advisory firm dedicated to helping  web companies build their brand and scale in the US and International markets. Visit us at www.mocoglobal.com or onTwitter https://twitter.com/followmoco for marketing news, trends and insights on web companies around the world.

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