The ‘word’ of the year 2015 was not a word, but an emoji. This week [retail bytes] delves into digital brand world, with emojis, new logos, data privacy and not-so-great social media strategies.

Toot your own horn: According to a recent study, 80% of Brits use emojis in their messages, so House of Fraser decided to give it a go and sprinkle some emoji love on their unsuspecting middle-aged customers. Di Caprio with a trumpet and Harry Styles with love hearts were brave moves, but no matter what social media marketing experts said, the brand got a 2600% increase in mentions on Twitter. It’s said that there’s no such thing as bad publicity so feel free to emoji away!

Red with embarrassment: More social meltdown came after Beyoncé name-dropped the American restaurant chain Red Lobster in her new song Formation during its Super Bowl debut. Alas, Red Lobster marketers did not get the memo and not only took 8 hours to respond on Twitter, but when they did it was beyond lame. Fans crucified the brand, commenting that the social media manager ‘had one job’ and failed miserably. A 33% increase in sales made up for the embarrassment, but the brand is re-considering their social media strategy. Employ interns to run your social media account in the age of real-time response and disaster is never far away.

Everything’s Premier but the logo: ‘Tis the season to be redesigning logos for brands whose CEOs are suffering from an insecurity complex. The recent logo redesign from Uber is a good example of “logoitis” – a severe disease afflicting brands with more money than sense (whilst confusing customers). The design director resigned ‘to spend time with the family’, but not before reviewers compared the logo to an ‘asshole’. Quite. Not to be outdone, the Premier League followed in the footsteps of Uber and had a not entirely successful go at redesigning their own sponsorship-free logo. Is “logoitis” contagious? Or is it career suicide season in design departments worldwide?

Computer says no: Another strategy to revise will be retailers’ media plans for France, if you happen to be focusing on conquering the land of cheese, wine and eagle-eyed lawyers. France has just ordered Facebook to stop sending users’ data to US data centres, following the European Court of Justice ruling that it’s not cool. As Facebook processes all users’ data in the US, it simply means that advertisers will not be able to target French demographics. Mon dieu. Back to the inefficient targeting of TV advertising?

Sticky fingers: On the topic of re-thinking – there’s trouble coming for mobile payments. As more retailers are supporting such payments, phones are increasingly vulnerable to hacking. A hacker has implanted a chip in his hand with an NFC antenna capable of hacking Android devices (and it can bypass almost all security measures). The chip can ping a nearby Android smartphone, prompting its user to open a link that then allows the hacker to send malware or take cash over the phone. Apparently sticking the chip in one’s body isn’t as painful as it looks and criminals may consider it well worth it in exchange for hacking superpowers…

 Good luck with your Valentine’s Day social media brand campaigns – here’s a throwback to our favourite; when #RejectedCandyHearts produced this gem in 2014.
Tag us in your favourite 2016 Valentine’s campaigns on Twitter with @RetailPractice