Emojis are all the rage in social media and texting. Now, you can download a custom emoji keyboard of your favorite fast food snack or even order a pizza just by tweeting a pizza emoji. Until recently, emojis have been relegated to funny text conversations and shorthand exchanges, but that all changed this week when the World Wide Fund for Nature (also known as the World Wildlife Fund) launched #EndangeredEmoji.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is the newest brand to jump on the emoji trend, this time harnessing it for good. WWF's latest campaign, #EndangeredEmoji, assigns real endangered animals to 17 existing emojis, from the Sumatran tiger to the bluefin tuna. The conservation group then asks individuals to tweet one of the 17 emojis along with the hashtag #EndangeredEmoji. Users can then tweet as many endangered emojis as they want, triggering an 11 cent donation for each. At the end of the month, WWF will send a summary of all the endangered emojis participants have used with a recommended donation amount. To activate the program, individuals simply retweet the @WWF #EndangeredEmoji announcement tweet and automatically receive a tweet reply from the nonprofit's Twitter handle with a link to sign up.
Seventy-seven percent of Americans say they would be motivated to participate in a social or environmental effort online if it was easy to participate, and WWF's campaign shows just how easy that can be. The nonprofit's smart use of existing emojis to raise both awareness and funds for some of the world's most threatened animals shows how leading brands can seamlessly inject their cause messages into individuals' daily lives and online conversations.