TIME Advertising

4 Times Brands Shamelessly Pandered to Millennials

How do you do, fellow kids?

General Motors on Monday issued a press release entirely in emoji. Will this get the kids to buy the 2016 Chevy Cruze? Who knows. But GM is hardly the first company to try to exploit Internet culture for its own branding gains among Millennials.

Here’s a few other times big companies have tried to get down with the kids, with varying degrees of success:

1. Volkswagen rides the “i” train

In 2012, German carmaker Volkswagen showed off the “iBeetle,” a version of its famous Beetle designed to work especially well with smartphones. Not only that, the car came with an app that sent “postcards” and kept track of “milestones,” like driving was playing Xbox and reaching 10,000 miles was the same as killing 10,000 bad guys in Call of Duty.

2. 7-11 wants hipsters to drink Slurpees

If you’ve ever been wandering the streets of Williamsburg looking for the best organic mustache wax, 7-11 thinks you’d like a Slurpee. Last year the convenience store chain put out plastic mason jars and straws with plastic mustaches. So put on some Mumford and Sons and get ready for a killer brain freeze.

3. Clorox wanted its own emoji

After Apple announced more racially diverse emoji earlier this year, Clorox responded by asking “Where’s the bleach?” The Internet thought this was a little weird, and regardless of intent, this was a dud.

4. The GOP courts hipsters, too

Ok, so this isn’t technically a company, but the Republican Party also tried to win over millennials, making commercials in which a hipster-looking 20-something explained why he’s a Republican. It was roundly mocked, most famously by John Oliver.

TIME Autos

Chevy Publishes Press Release Entirely in Emoji

General Motors Recall Widens As CEO Barra Testifies To Lawamkers In DC
Joshua Lott—Getty Images A man walks past a Chevrolet Cruze Eco displayed at the General Motors headquarters April 1, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan.

We think it says "drink your Ovaltine"

Well, this is where we are, world: General Motors, one of the biggest companies in the world, has published a press release in emoji. Entirely in emoji.

Honestly, the release is pretty difficult to decipher. We know it’s about the 2016 Chevy Cruze, a compact car GM’s been making since 2008.

Outside of that — maybe some of the kids reading this will be able to do a better job decoding the message, but it does seem that GM wants you to know the new Cruze is 100% awesome, that it will work well with your smartphone, and that you will love it. It also seems to say that you’ll be better at sports if you buy the car, but that may be a bad interpretation.

If you want to try your hand at reading these millennial hieroglyphs, check out the release. Or, wait for GM to post the translation at 2 p.m. ET Tuesday.

TIME technology

The Taco Emoji You’ve Been Waiting For Is Here

Burrito emoji is also available

Taco lovers, rejoice!

If you’re like us, you’ve long lamented the glaring absence of a taco emoji in the emoji keyboard. The truth is, tacos come up a lot in conversation — certainly more than carousels and the Norwegian flag.

Now, that injustice is being finally being addressed. On Tuesday, Emojipedia announced 37 new emojis that will be added to Unicode 8.0, which will include — drum roll, please — a crispy corn taco and a burrito! This motion arrives after years and years of people begging for tacos to be represented in the emoji keyboard — and even a Change.org petition launched in January (by none other than Taco Bell).

While all of the new emojis won’t necessarily be adopted by iOS and Android, some of the 37 are likely to appear on those systems.

As we wait with bated breath, we’ll seek our taco emojis elsewhere and spend $1.99 on Texmoji, an app that offers a whole slew of Tex Mex-inspired emojis, including queso, cowboy boots, an outline of Texas and that horn thing Texans do with their hands sometimes.

According to My San Antonio, Texmoji was created by country singer Rich O’Toole and social-media-famous Texan Sean Compton.

What are you waiting for? Go text tacos to someone you love.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME Smartphones

We Might Finally Get An Eye-Rolling Emoji

And it's about time

At long last, an “eye roll” emoji could be coming to your smartphone.

How emoji get approved is kind of wonky, but here goes: The Unicode Consortium is a non-profit group that oversees the communications standard emoji rely upon. The Consortium has approved the “Face With Rolling Eyes” emoji for inclusion in that standard, emoji blog Emojipedia reports.

Here’s a sample emoji from the Consortium. If Apple or Google ever included this emoji in iOS or Android, it would look different.

72x72x1f644-unicode-example.png.pagespeed.ic.qTNY95O1Xa (1)

But this doesn’t mean the eye-rolling emoji will suddenly show up on your iPhone or Android. Apple, Google and other platform-makers have to decide for themselves which emoji to add to their devices. A new emoji getting included in the Unicode Standard just means the new selection is available to those companies as an option.

Back in May, Emojipedia reported that a middle finger emoji is coming to Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 10 operating system.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Here Are Hillary Clinton’s Favorite Emoji

She's all about those handclaps

As part of a free flip-flop giveaway, Old Navy has launched an online tool that lets you analyze the most-used emoji on yours and other social media feeds—including any public Twitter account.

TIME and MONEY dug around to find some of the most interesting results from famous politicians, business leaders and celebrities, including presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio, and Jeb Bush. Click through the list to also see the favored emoji of Bill Clinton, Narendra Modi, Elon Musk, Travis Kalanick, Taylor Swift, and Miley Cyrus.

Clinton’s Twitter feed had a lot to offer but neither of Barack Obama’s feeds seemed to make use of emoji, nor did Warren Buffett’s or Kanye West’s.

  • Hillary Clinton

    Hillary Clinton Favorite Emoji
    Old Navy / emoodji.com

    Democratic presidential front-runner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (or at least the folks running her Twitter feed) seems to favor the checkmark, clapping hands, and “sparkles” emoji—though the American flag also makes the cut.

  • Jeb Bush

    Jeb Bush Favorite Emoji
    Old Navy / emoodji.com

    GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush doesn’t reveal much in his choice of emoji: He is the former governor of sunshine state Florida, after all.

  • Marco Rubio

    Marco Rubio Favorite Emoji
    Old Navy / emoodji.com

    Florida Senator Marco Rubio is a fan of the clapping hands emoji.

  • Narendra Modi

    Narendra Modi Favorite Emoji
    Old Navy / emoodji.com

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is partial to the “okay” sign.

  • Elon Musk

    Elon Musk Favorite Emoji
    Old Navy / emoodji.com

    The only emoji that pops up for Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter feed is the “see-no-evil” monkey.

     

  • Travis Kalanick

    Travis Kalanick Favorite Emoji
    Old Navy / emoodji.com

    Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has most often used the “person raising both hands in celebration” symbol, which seems about right.

  • Taylor Swift

    Taylor Swift Favorite Emoji
    Old Navy / emoodji.com

    Taylor Swift’s collection of most-used emoji is as much a window into her emotional world as many of her songs, with hearts, the “smiling face with heart-shaped eyes,” and “face with tears of joy” among her favorites. And like Hillary Clinton, she’s a fan of sparkles.

  • Miley Cyrus

    Old Navy / emoodji.com Miley Cyrus Favorite Emoji

    Miley Cyrus seems to use a wide variety of symbols on her Twitter feed—even more so than Taylor Swift—including the ever-evocative money and smiling poop emoji.

  • Bill Clinton

    Bill Clinton Favorite Emoji
    Old Navy / emoodji.com

    Last but not least, former President Bill Clinton appears to have made use of only one emoji: the folded hands, or prayer symbol. That’s one more than either of current POTUS Barack Obama’s Twitter accounts have used.

MONEY freebies

How to Get Free Old Navy Flip-Flops

Old Navy Emoodji Calculator Free Flip Flops Vacation
Old Navy

You could also win a trip to the Caribbean.

Old Navy is jumping on the emoji-as-PR-tool bandwagon. The fashion brand just launched a new web app that analyzes the way you use emoticons in your social media feed, and it’s giving away 10,000 pairs of flip-flops to customers who give it a try.

Anyone interested can go to the site, emoodji.com, and log in with Facebook or enter your Twitter or Instagram handle. The site figures out what emoji you have used most in social media, suggests a dream vacation, and—if you are among the 10,000 winners—awards you with a free pair of flip-flops.

You can play twice to try to win the free flops or a free trip to one of several beachy getaways: Six winners will get a paid vacation to resorts in Costa Rica, Mexico, the Bahamas, Miami and Palm Springs, California.

The giveaway will end after 20 days, but if you’re open to nearly-free flip-flops, just wait until June 20. Old Navy is hosting a $1 flip-flop sale that day.

And if all of this sounds like way too much work, remember Old Navy’s cheapest plastic sandals are already pretty affordable at $2.50 a pop.

TIME Web

We’re Finally Getting a Middle Finger Emoji

Middle Finger Emoji
Microsoft Middle Finger Emoji

It's coming to Windows

The long-awaited middle finger emoji will be included in Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system, according to Emojipedia.

The emoji is officially called “Reversed Hand With Middle Finger Extended.” The one-finger salute emoji has been available for tech companies to pack in their products for almost a year — emoji are an industry standard set by a non-profit group; individual tech companies like Apple and Google are free to adopt and interpret the group’s selections largely as they see fit. No major tech companies have yet adopted Reversed Hand With Middle Finger Extended.

Windows 10, Microsoft’s upcoming cross-platform operating system, is due out sometime this summer. It replaces Windows 8.1 — Microsoft skipped a number for undetermined reasons.

Read next: Microsoft’s Next Version of Windows Will Be a Free Upgrade

TIME relationships

People Who Use Emojis Have More Sex

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Getty Images

Match.com's annual dating survey found that people who use more emojis in text messages have more active sex lives

While this probably isn’t news to fans of the eggplant emoji, a new study found that single people who use emojis have more sex than those who abstain.

Match.com’s annual Singles in America survey — which polled 5,675 (non-Match using) singles whose demographics were representative of the national population according to the U.S. Census — found that people who have more sex, tend to use emojis more.

“It turns out that 54% of emoji users had sex in 2014 compared to 31% of singles who did not,” Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University who helped lead the study, tells TIME. And the more emojis singles used, the more sex they tended to have, as illustrated by Match’s handy emoji-to-intercourse graph:

Match.com's Singles in America Survey
Match.com’s Singles in America Survey

According to the data, released Wednesday, these statistics held true for men and women in the 20s, 30s and 40s.

And, food for thought, women who use kiss-related emojis have an easier time achieving orgasms with a familiar partner. That may be because emoji users cared more about finding partners who consider communication a desirable trait.

It’s notoriously difficult to read tone in texts and emails, but emojis can bridge the gap. “[Emoji users] want to give their texts more personality,” says Fisher. “Here we have a new technology that absolutely jeopardizes your ability to express your emotion… there is no more subtle inflection of the voice … and so we have created another way to express emotions and that is the emoji.”

Because it’s not all about that rocket ship/volcano/insert-other-suggestive-emoji here.

“Emoji users don’t just have more sex, they go on more dates and they are two times more likely to want to get married,” Fisher says. “Sixty-two percent of emoji users want to get married compared to 30% of people who never used an emoji… that’s pretty good.”

Thankfully there are appropriate diamond cartoons for your inevitable Instagram engagement announcement.

TIME Science

Watch Bill Nye Explain Evolution Using Emoji

“We emojinized it.”

Bill Nye has never been known to teach science the way you learned it in school — unless, of course, your school taught you about water displacement by spoofing Sir Mix-a-Lot. The Science Guy is still infusing fun into science, this time spreading the gospel of evolution with the help of some emoji.

In the video, produced by Mashable as part of General Electric’s “Emoji Science” promotion, the major players in evolution get emoji matches: carbon is represented by the diamond, self-replicating molecules are interconnected faces and bacteria are represented by the purple alien monster. But despite his casual demeanor in this video, Nye takes the topic rather seriously. Back in February, he debated Ken Ham, a prominent proponent of creationism, in an attempt to win over creationists with the scientific evidence supporting evolution. In November, he released a book called Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, aimed at exposing young creationists to the scientific principles of evolution.

For those who don’t plan to read the book, the video offers a simplified version. “We shook it up with emoji, and then we told a story,” Nye says of the digital age approach to evolution. “The way you might do if you had too many, um, Jell-O shots.”

TIME Music

Watch the Trippy Video for Gwen Stefani’s ‘Spark the Fire’

Stefani unveils her own emoji-inspired language

Even if Gwen Stefani’s recent single “Spark the Fire” is a little repetitive, it comes to life in the colorful blend of animation and reality that characterizes its music video. Stefani floats into the frame on an adorable cartoon cloud, high above a candy-colored animated world. Her lyrics pop up in text message bubbles with emoji-like icons illustrating the love, energy and fire of which she sings.

Pharrell, who produced the track, said the song is about feminism, though the lyrics only briefly touch upon “balanc[ing] the scales.” The video’s brand of feminism seems to consist of bringing together a bunch of attractive dancers dressed in L.A.M.B., burning down the club with confidence. It’s a start, at least.

On the whole — aside from a few moments of comically conspicuous product placement — it’s not only a rousing three minutes, but it also makes a compelling case for Gwen Stefani’s face to be added to the set of new emojis for Unicode 8.0.

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