Cannes Lions


HUGE, New York / JEEP / 2020

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Case Film






Since the introduction of Emojis, brands have tried co-opting their popularity to drive social media buzz. Jeep had a different problem. Because Jeep is synonymous with utility vehicles around the world, Unicode, the global authority on Emojis, had already assigned Jeep its version of an SUV emoji. Which meant, without asking for it, when users entered the word Jeep into an iPhone or Android device, the little blue emoji was suggested as a replacement. This rogue emoji misrepresented the Jeep brand’s adventurous spirit or vehicle capabilities and needed to be done away with.


Jeep has always stood for authenticity and clearly this Emoji was not it. We knew that when simply compared to the real thing it would be undeniable that there is only one true Jeep. The #ThisIsNotJeep campaign aimed to activate our fanbase and via the hashtag, provide an aggregate for their tweets of protest. Shareable content aimed to stoke this fire. A campaign showed the emoji struggling in classic settings where Jeep dominates. It was a very simple visual that said everything that was wrong with this emoji in one image. And in video, when the visual was amended with the Jeep proving why it is the king of compatibility, there was no argument to be made for the emoji. In fact, it made the Emoji’s very existence laughable.


Social listening proved that Jeep fans agreed the little blue emoji could never represent the true spirit of Jeep vehicles, the worlds greatest adventure machines. While other brands were chasing press by being associated WITH emojis, we recognized this as a unique opportunity to be the first brand to actually GIVE AN EMOJI BACK. To pull off this “Emoji U-turn” we took our message to the three social platforms where our target engages most and where a groundswell against the imposter Emoji had already begun to simmer: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And while we activated our social following we also reached out to automotive and business outlets like CNN, Fox News, AutoBlog and Auto Week to let them know that Jeep was flipping the emoji game on its head by giving back the thing other brands were clamoring for.


We broke into the conversation with short form content that let our fans know we had their back. Seeing the Emoji, which was already rejected by our enthusiast community, failing to concor terrain the way only a true Jeep could gave our fans validation and encouragement to continue their own personal protest of tweets. We retweeted and replied to fans who were outraged, letting them know that we stood with them in solidarity against the imposter emoji. We even called out brands like Unicode and Apple to let them know that their little blue cartoon car had nothing to do with us. And when the Emoji was removed, we engaged with celebration, thanking fans for fighting the good fight. By letting the world know that Jeep was the first brand to officially go “Emoji free” we gave the press a new angle in which to view and report our “loss”.


With a little help, our fans' voices were heard and the 2019 Unicode updates removed the association between Jeep and the little blue emoji. In the end, Jeep drove off with one of their most successful social initiatives ever by giving back the very thing other brands beg for. Overall, the campaign generated over +280,180,955 PR Impressions and 381,456 MM social media shares. News outlets around the world celebrated our efforts as the imposter emoji drove off into the sunset for good.

“Apple drops ‘Jeep’ from emoji search and Jeep fans love it.” —CNN.

“Jeep is glad Apple has dropped ‘Jeep’ from emoji search.” —NBC News.

“Jeep is liberated from ‘imposter’ emoji and celebrates.” —AdAge.

"Jeep Convinced Apple to Stop Calling Its Little Blue Crossover Emoji a Jeep" —The Drive. "Why Jeep Is One Brand That's Happy Not to Have Its Own Emoji." —Muse by Clio.

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