Emoji URLs may be the next big thing. With unique and memorable domain names becoming more and more scarce, some companies and campaigns are turning to out-of-the-box digital methods to reach new audiences.
Norwegian Airlines did just that with its new emoji-only URL, reports AdWeek, creating a Web address that replaces traditional lettering with emojis.
The airline launched this URL for a very specific offer, so it used a very specific string of emojis. It wanted to announce a new direct flight from Copenhagen to Las Vegas, and so the website was Airplane-Slot Machine-Money.ws.
It looks like this: www.✈️🎰💸.ws
The .ws domain represents Western Samoa, which is one of the few countries that allow URLs in non-Latin characters. There are others too, including Tokelau (.tk) which is a small New Zealand territory, according to the Washington Post.
Norwegian Airlines’ emoji URL isn’t the first of its kind. A few months back Coca-Cola launched an ad campaign of single emoji Internet addresses. Additionally, an Irish group advocating for gay marriage also launched a web campaign using either two male emojis together or two female emojis together. It redirected to a page talking about the May 22nd vote, which legalized gay marriage in Ireland.
Still, emoji Web addresses have yet to hit the mainstream. This is likely because only younger users on mobile are able to seamlessly use the illustrative characters. Acquiring such domains are also hard due to the politics of top level domains, as some countries only allow certain types of characters.
All the same, Norwegian Airlines told AdWeek that this experiment paid off. It pushed the emoji URL to users on Instagram and saw 1,600 hits on the first day. Given that it was targeted to and released on social networks consisting primarily of millennials, the airline saw this as a successful covert ad operation.