Sometimes a smiley face just doesn’t convey your emotions. Maybe you feel a little … pear instead.

Pear Bureau Northwest hopes so. The Portland, Oregon, organization has sponsored a pear emoji.

What’s an emoji? Also called emoticon, it’s a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion.  They originated in Japan in the 1990s for use on mobile phones.

A pear emoji

A pear emoji

The Pear Bureau, which promotes Washington and Oregon pears under the brand USA Pears, paid $5,000 to sponsor a pear icon — the one found in the emoji section of any smartphone — with the Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit organization from Mountain View, California, trying to make the digital world more adaptable to different languages, operating platforms and formats. To help raise money, the Unicode backers are asking companies to sponsor emoticons.

The sponsorships just help generate more attention, especially those keeping tabs on Unicode. If not USA Pears, someone else would have claimed the pear image.

“Can you imagine our disappointment if another domestic or international pear marketer were to sponsor our pear symbol? Un-pear-able,” said Kathy Stephenson, a spokeswoman for the Pear Bureau, in an email to the Good Fruit Grower.

USA Pears got into the game after reading about a New Zealand kiwi grower organization sponsoring the kiwi emoji. An English berry and soft fruit farm sponsored the strawberry emoji.

In exchange for the sponsorship, the Pear Bureau gets to include its name on the sponsor list on the Unicode Website and — hopefully — psychologically connect its brand with people using the emoticon in tweets, texts and Facebook posts.

“The number of people world-wide that use the pear symbol in their text or social media account is fairly staggering,” Stephenson said. “Often it is used to communicate a pair or pairing.”

The pear organization will get no link or mention when people use the pear icon in texts, however.

Other benefits include an improved likelihood that USA Pears will show up when people search Google.