There’s Data in Emojis & Marketers Want to Mine It

Why Brands and Agencies Want to Interpret Pizza Slice Smiley Face

Social agency Crimson Hexagon has been evaluating social posts containing digital stickers and logos in photos for clients including O2 Telefonica UK, Campbell’s and Allstate.

“We’re missing where people are sharing photos that have our brand in it or our competitor’s brand in it,” said Errol Apostolopoulos senior VP-product for Crimson Hexagon. The company uses image detection to identify coffee or apparel-brand logos that show up in photos people post on Instagram or their Tumblr pages. It evaluates the volume of brand imagery in addition to context. For instance, if someone is smiling alongside a branded coffee drink, it would be perceived as a positive sentiment.

The image detecting, said Mr. Apostolopoulos, is not challenging. “It’s the application of it within social analysis and trying to correlate that with what people have said in text.”

Measuring the brand value of speaking in cartoons may seem like a mere novelty, but as adoption of this picture parlance grows, agencies recognize the need to figure out how to analyze imagery as though it were text.