On 8 February, the worldwide authority overseeing emojis, Unicode, announced the release of its what will be its first-ever mango emoji in June 2018.
The Unicode Consortium’s decision to include a mango emoticon in its line-up follows a vigorous social-media campaign, funded by Australia’s mango growers through national horticulture industry body Hort Innovation and run over the 2016-17 mango season.
Hort Innovation Acting Marketing Lead Elisa King was thrilled about the Unicode announcement: “It’s very exciting for Australian mangoes and particularly for growers,” she said. “There are about six billion emojis sent on a daily basis and with so many fruit emojis, it is about time one of Australia's favourite fruit has its own one.”
The #mangoemojiplease campaign: underpinning the Unicode bid
From the start of the #mangoemojiplease campaign, King said, she was sure the mango emoji would have wide consumer appeal.
“I was very confident we would have a groundswell of fans begging for one across Australia and potentially, across the world, with our Asian and US export plans," she said.
Hort Innovation and mango growers launched their #mangoemojiplease social media campaign in September 2016, ramping it up to coincide with the 2016-17 mango season Down Under (roughly, November to March).
Over the course of the campaign, more than 800 posts used the #mangoemojiplease hashtag.
At the conclusion of the season, based on that support, the Australian mango industry made a formal submission to the international Unicode Consortium, the independent global authority governing emojis.
The Aussie mango-growers proposed that the Consortium recommend inclusion of the bound-to-be-popular mango emoji in its next official update.
Global exposure for our favourite Top End fruit
The plump, yellow-red mango emoji, with its strong resemblance to northern Australian varieties, is something of a coup for Australia’s expanding mango industry, guaranteeing it global exposure via text and email messaging – albeit as a tiny 2-D depiction.
Hort Innovation and Aussie growers across Queensland and the Northern Territory hope that the inclusion of the new emoticon will help to boost recognition of, and interest in our favourite tropical fruit by consumers in lucrative markets around the world.
Not just a mango – a ’roo, a lobster and leafy greens...
Australia’s iconic ‘boxing marsupial’, the kangaroo, has also been turned into an emoji and is set to join Unicode’s fast-growing menagerie mid-year, as is the mosquito.
New ag- and food-related emojis to enter Unicode’s stable in 2018 include a llama, a lobster, leafy greens, a bagel and a cupcake.
Science also features this year, with the addition of a lab coat, a microbe; a petri dish, a test tube and a strand of DNA.
Swelling the ranks of its human emojis, the global consortium has decided to include redheads and grey-haired folk, along with curly-haired and bald-headed options, this year, as well as a scattering of body parts: legs, feet, a tooth and a bone.
Unicode’s latest intake of 157 emoticons – 77 of them unique; the rest duplicates (same image, multiple skin tones) – also includes supervillains and superheroes, a roll of toilet paper, a ‘flying disc’, a skateboard; and new facial expression emoticons including hot, cold and ‘pleading’.
Check out this year’s line-up of new emojis:
Growers are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new, official mango emoticon: we’re forecasting a glut of them punctuating Top End texts in the lead-up to the 2018-19 season.
More emojis our ag sector might want to promote
In the meantime, other Aussie ag sectors might want to follow the mango industry's lead, with numerous gaps in the emoticon line-up waiting to be filled. Our suggestions (off the cuff; there are bound to be more):
- a bunch of Cavendish bananas,
- a Pink Lady apple;
- Sydney rock oysters;
- a Kakadu plum;
- half a passionfruit;
- a boiled egg;
- a cut avocado;
- an emu;
- a drone;
- a field robot;
- a wind turbine;
- a solar array;
- a biogas tank;
- a working dog;
- a sleeping dog;
- a red-back spider;
- a galah;
- a ute; and
- an Akubra.