Military branches are putting a smile on war with a surreal online campaign commemorating “World Emoji Day”—a holiday-slash-marketing ploy architected by the creators of the popular app responsible for simplifying language into cartoons.
On Wednesday, the government-sanctioned Twitter account of the Defense Department tweeted out an animation of emoji critters.
“I say, have a Happy World Emoji Day from the Department of Defense!” exclaimed an orange fox following announcements from an alien and a lion.
Sixteen minutes later, the Army’s official Twitter account posted a picture of American soldiers wielding assault rifles, their faces replaced with emoji clenching their teeth.
Not to be outdone by their longstanding rival, the U.S. Navy tweeted “Happy
#WorldEmojiDay from your #USNavy, protecting and defending America!,” including emojis of a ship anchor, American flag and, what is assumed to be, three custom smileys depicting sailors.
“In order to stay current with social media trends and to engage with the online audience, the Department of Defense often makes posts in coordination with national days and observances,” the DOD told Observer in a statement.
“Since emojis are now part of our everyday conversations, the Department of Defense chose to highlight the day in a fun, lighthearted manner,” the statement continued. “While other service pages may have also joined in recognizing the event, this was not part of a coordinated larger campaign.”
Other esoteric holidays that the Defense Department celebrated this month included National Fried Chicken Day (July 6) and National Ice Cream Day (July 15), the latter of which the department used to promote the “Blended Retirement System” for military personnel.