Chauvinist Emojis… Chauvinist Emojis Everywhere…

Right, well. I made a post not long ago about Always’ new campaign that was oriented towards the issue of… umm… emoji gender equiality…? I think? Ye, I… I don’t get it either.

Turns out Telenor’s agency had the same idea at the same time, and made pretty much the same campaign. …The only difference being that Telenor’s video is shorter and thus less painful.

Now I’ve given my extensive reasons on why I believe this to be stupid in the other article and I’m not going to quote myself. But I would like to call your attention to another aspect that will call out the futility and thus the stupidity of both videos:

Discarding the fact that all services and Operating Systems have different emoji sets, these companies really, really, REALLY don’t understand how we use emojis.

If I have to spell it out: YES, habits differ, but the general rule of thumb is that emoji actions are what matter, not their gender. The type of emojis these companies are bitching about are used for irony and jokes, ex: “I’m fabulous (princess emoticon)”, for compliments and cute messaging to the opposite gender, ex: “You fixed my computer, my hero (strong man emoji)” or whatever, but RARELY for projection of self-image.

Now, as for the sexism and stereotyping;


Why? Because we don’t use these emojis. Gen YZ just doesn’t or very rarely use the types of emojis in question.

Why, you ask? Because we don’t care. Because chat communication is about speed. Expressing the most, in as little time as possible. And for that, we use keyboard shortcuts that are the same on every platform. Specifically: 😀 😉 :) :( :’(  >_<  ^_^ :3, etc. In turn, the emojis in question require search among pictograms, which we won’t really do unless there is a good reason to.

So why is this stupid and misguided? Because the emojis in question are rarely used. Because the emojis that are often used are genderless expression smileys. Because no one in your target audience gives two shits about this issue. Because this isn’t an issue. And because you’re trying to make it into an issue.

In summary: It is stupid and misguided, because it is irrelevant to your target. Sorry to rain on your parade.

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