On January 13, the non-profit www.bzh, with the support of the Brittany Regional Council, launched the #EmojiBZH campaign on Twitter which invited users to use the hashtag #EmojiBZH ￼in order to influence the Unicode consortium to definitively adopt the Breton flag emoji on all platforms (social networks, mobile, etc.).
In a 4 weeks campaign, 405,886 #EmojiBZH mentions were generated! A genuine success which helped Brittany shine on Twitter for 28 days! The Breton flag emoji even became the 6th most talked about subject in the world after 24 hours of campaigning, with numerous celebrities showing support and even getting a "like" from France's President, Emmanuel Macron.
Emoji "soft power"
The word "emoji" translates literally to "picture character" in Japanese. In 1999, Japanese mobile provider NTT DoCoMo released the first set of these pictographs for cell phones. It took over a decade, however, for the emoji to start taking the rest of the world by storm. By late 2010, hundreds of emoji had been incorporated into Unicode, a universal standard for characters, and Apple put an emoji keyboard in iOS 5 for the iPhone in 2011. Emojis have become common place in our day-to-day communication habits even invading how we express ourselves at work.
But the emoji has also taken on the role of soft power influencer worldwide.
In the diagram of the vectors of soft power, culture is often presented as the most obvious source of influence with foreign nations. A culture themed or flag emoji appearing on billions of cell phone keyboard carries tremendous influence and recognition especially for underrepresented cultures, communities and nations.
Out of the 2,666 emojis in Emoji 5.0, 94 are emojis of Japanese origin, or 4% of the total. Following Japan is the United States, with 31 emojis of American origin making up around 1% of all emojis. Trailing behind those two countries is the United Kingdom and China with 6 emojis (0.2%), and then France and Mexico with 2 emojis (essentially 0%). The remaining 94% of emojis mostly consist of people-related emoji (professions and smileys), flags , symbols, animals, travel, and tools.
Unicode consortium application
The next steps for the #Emojibzh campaign will be to send an updated application to the California based, Unicode consortium, who make all decisions on the inclusion of new emojis. The consortium is made up of members who have voting powers, and there are around a dozen people on the emoji subcommittee who parse through the submissions. Full members of the consortium include Microsoft, Facebook, IBM, Apple, Oracle, Google, and Huawei.
The #Emojibzh application is a strong one highlighted by the exceptional Twitter campaign which saw the Breton flag emoji exceeded the monthly averages of Greece, Finland, Denmark, Scotland or Wales! Expectations are for the final application to be sent at the end of March 2020, with the first results being announced in early May 2020. 💪
is an organization established to create, facilitate, promote, and sponsor wide-ranging innovative and collaborative cultural and economic projects that strengthen and foster relations and cooperation between the United States of America and the region of Brittany, France.