Universal Language Beyond Words

Lan­guage is a uni­ver­sal pow­er in which we com­mu­ni­cate. Its diver­si­ty spans across coun­tries, tribes, com­mu­ni­ties and nations. Our com­mu­ni­ca­tion comes through both speech and visu­al coun­ter­parts. Lan­guage allows brands to com­mu­ni­cate and con­nect with cus­tomers. We tai­lor our lan­guage to attract, inspire or encour­age them. How­ev­er, when we focus our com­mu­ni­ca­tion to only writ­ten lan­guage, we often lim­it the mar­ket we can reach. Uni­ver­sal lan­guage is impor­tant when you want to con­nect with the diverse world we live in.

Universal language beyond words, emojis, Pepsimoji campaign, Pepsi emojis, visual communication

Universal Language beyond words

1. Prehistoric Communication 

Dat­ing back to over 200,000 years, the ear­li­est form of pre­his­toric visu­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion can be found in Africa. These cave paint­ings aren’t fine art. They were uni­ver­sal and util­i­tar­i­an. Plus, they even served for sur­vival pur­pos­es. Ear­ly civ­i­liza­tions didn’t have an estab­lished spo­ken lan­guage. The most uni­ver­sal lan­guage at that time, was beyond words — dots, squares, geo­met­ric signs, fig­ures and ani­mals. It would be years before humans devel­oped a for­mal writ­ten language.

2. Communication Today 

If we look at the way we com­mu­ni­cate today, we can cer­tain­ly see how diverse our world has become. Both ver­bal and visu­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion allow us to tell pow­er­ful sto­ries. We’ve devel­oped dif­fer­ent lan­guages and dialects across the world. The dif­fer­ence is so much, that it’s a chal­lenge to com­mu­ni­cate to a world-wide audi­ence. When we attempt to reach a glob­al mar­ket, our mes­sage can be lim­it­ed to ONLY those that speak the same lan­guage. Brands that need to com­mu­ni­cate on an inter­na­tion­al lev­el, will often need to cre­ate spe­cif­ic col­lat­er­al tai­lored to each lan­guage. And that, can be incred­i­bly expensive!

3. Here Come the Emojis 

Emo­jis became extreme­ly pop­u­lar because it allows peo­ple to express emo­tions with­out long sen­tences. It became con­ve­nient. And it quick­ly became an inter­na­tion­al form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. A smi­ly face means the same across the world. Even that smil­ing poop emo­ji car­ries the same sig­nif­i­cance any­where you see it. While emo­jis aren’t real­ly cre­at­ed to bring us back to our pre­his­toric form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, it has allowed brands to reach a glob­al audience.

One brand that has dis­cov­ered a way to use lan­guage beyond words, is Pep­si. Their Pep­si­mo­ji cam­paign is break­ing the com­mu­ni­ca­tion bar­ri­ers that brands often face. By sim­ply using emo­jis! These are strate­gi­cal­ly used to express HOW we can feel when we con­sume their product.

Emo­jis can be a uni­ver­sal lan­guage that goes beyond words. It can help con­nect our diverse world. And if your brand wants to reach a glob­al audi­ence, some­times, emo­jis are the way to go. How­ev­er, the way it’s exe­cut­ed should make sense for your market.

About the Author

Nicte Cuevas, Principal of Nicte Creative Design, empowers mission-driven businesses through strategic design & branding. Nicte has applied this when working with Adobe Spark and Twitter Business, LinkedIn Learning, Dogs on Deployment and Purina, Girl Scouts, The Houston Zoo and The Contemporary Arts Museum. Her excellence in communication design & marketing has been recognized by multiple national / international awards, including a coveted feature in Graphic Design USA's People to Watch.

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