Emojis have taken over our online conversations. We use them to tell our friends how we’re feeling, which country we’re traveling to, what we’re eating for dinner, or what we’ve got planned for the weekend. There is no way to announce to the online world that we’re driving a pickup truck, and Ford wants to change that as quickly as possible.
The Blue Oval is celebrating World Emoji Day by unveiling a pickup truck emoji shaped like an F-150, which is its most popular model, and one of America’s best-selling vehicles. It’s a blue, extended-cab truck, but Ford hinted it wants to make the emoji customizable. Truck fans will be able to select a different version of the emoji to say that they’re going camping in a red pickup or towing a boat in a green one. It might even be the first emoji fitted with a factory-installed lift kit.
Ford published a humorous video that shows the emoji’s development process. It didn’t need to be crash-tested or to have its fuel economy certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but a lot of research went into developing it.
“Our team spent a lot of time digging through message boards, texting influencers, and watching social media feeds to really understand our customers’ needs,” Craig Metros, Ford’s design director in North America, said in a statement.
The problem is that getting a new emoji approved is considerably more difficult than you might imagine. It’s not just a matter of arranging pixels into an image, saving it, and submitting it to Apple or Google. The members of the Unicode Consortium review and approve every emoji before it gets uploaded to the internet’s database. Needless to say, the number of requests the Unicode Consortium receives warrants a shocked, OMG-style emoji, not a smiley face or a big blue thumb.
Ford has already submitted a request, and it optimistically believes the truck emoji will be included in a future version of Unicode. If it’s approved, look for it on your smartphone, tablet, or favorite messaging app in early 2020. While the emoji doesn’t say Ford anywhere, it’s clearly shaped like one of the company’s trucks, and we’re curious to see if rivals Chevrolet, GMC, Ram, and even Toyota will try to get their own truck-shaped emoji approved by the Unicode Consortium.
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