Over the past decades, the way people interact with each other has transformed significantly. With the advances in digital technologies, computer-mediated communications have become an essential part of our daily lives, which led to the creation of new language forms such as emoji. The main reasons for emoji usage are their abilities to convey emotions and to ease the message interpretation. Many marketers have started implementing emoji not only in online communications with consumers, but also in advertising. The goal of this research was to investigate how emoji presence in social media advertising influences consumers’ purchase intentions. The study explored the direct effect of emoji on positive affect and purchase intentions, as well as the mediating role of the affect. In addition, product framing was included as a contextual variable to investigate how emoji effects vary for utilitarian and hedonic products. An online experiment with 2 (emoji being present vs. absent) x 2 (product framing: hedonic vs utilitarian) between-subjects design was conducted. Facebook advertisements either for hedonic or utilitarian product type, with or without emoji incorporated in the text were presented to the participants (N = 217), depending on the condition they were in. The results suggest that emoji presence has a positive impact on the affect and purchase intentions. Moreover, the findings reveal that emoji effect on purchase intentions is mediated by their effect on the positive affect. However, there are no significant association found between the emoji effects and the advertised product framing (utilitarian or hedonic). By exploring the emoji effects in the new setting, such as digital advertising, this research contributes to the growing field of emoji literature. The findings are particularly relevant to the fields of marketing and consumer behavior.

Additional Metadata
Keywords media, business, emoji, advertising, purchase intentions, affect, product framing
Thesis Advisor P. Tenbult
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/2105/50155
Series Media & Business
A. Dmitrieva. (2019, June 24). The effect of emoji on purchase intentions in digital advertising. Media & Business. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/50155