NEW YORK: MillerCoors, the brewer, has found that branded emojis can help its beers become "part of the conversation" between consumers on messaging apps – and often become the topic of conversation in their own right.

Dilini Fernando, the organisation's digital marketing manager, talked about this subject at the Mobile Media Summit in New York.

She highlighted two occasions where the company has created packs of stickers for messaging services, one being a football-led effort for Miller Lite, while the other focused on dating apps on behalf of Coors Light.

Each of these initiatives saw download numbers in the hundreds of thousands, but the qualitative outcomes from the resultant peer-to-peer sharing were just as important. (For more, including campaign results, read Warc's exclusive report: Smiley face, thumbs up: MillerCoors taps the power of emojis.)

"One of the things I want to point out that was amazing – and so inspiring – for any marketer [is]: the most-used sticker for both Coors Light and Miller Lite were two bottles 'cheers-ing'," said Fernando.

"Just think about that. As a brand marketer you're giving the elements to your consumers, and they are actively talking about it."

More specifically, through using this approach, the two beer lines became part of the messaging lexicon – and frequently turned into the actual subject being discussed by consumers.

"You're not only able to inspire the conversation, to be part of the conversation, but a lot of the time, we were the topic of the conversation," said Fernando.

MillerCoors worked on these programs with Swyft Media, a firm which specialises in creating and distributing branded emojis and stickers.

Swyft Media estimates that six billion emojis are sent in mobile messages worldwide each day, with 65% of people using its partner apps having embraced this activity.

Evan Wray, its co-founder/ceo, suggested these icons provided brands with new ways to chart their progress on mobile.

"It's talking about true engagement with the brand, rather than just impressions. Rather than clicks, we need to talk about shares … to the personal networks that you're talking to 30, 40, 50 times a day on a mobile device," he said.

Data sourced from Warc