Two more fresh produce companies have seized the opportunity to sponsor of individual emojis, the pictorial typographical characters now widely used in written digital communications.
Following the recent news that kiwifruit marketer Zespri and promotional body Avocados from Mexico had secured the rights to be associated with their own relevant fruit icons, it has now emerged that USA Pears and S&A Group, a leading soft fruit marketer with operations in the UK and China, have purchased gold sponsorships giving them a permanent association with, respectively, the pear and strawberry emojis.
That brings to four the number of gold sponsorships acquired by key players in the international fresh produce business.
In fact, the sector is leading the way in terms of industries which have taken advantage of what appears an affordable marketing opportunity.
Gold sponsorships, the highest level on offer, are priced at US$5,000 and are obtained from the Unicode Consortium, a non-profit organisation that manages the development of universal standards including the emoji system.
Gold-level sponsors receive a certificate and an engraved thank-you gift, plus they have their name registered next to their chosen emoji on the Unicode Consortium website with a hyperlink to their website.
However, the question for each sponsor will be how they utilise their connection with the emoji and convert their investment into marketing value – especially given that the emojis themselves don’t display any obvious connection to the sponsors when used by the general public.
Zespri, Avocados from Mexico, USA Pears and S&A Group might well look to see what US technology giant IBM does in that respect.
The company emerged as an early adopter of emoji sponsorship back in December 2015 when it bought the rights to put its name to the cloud character.