The age of the ‘selfie’ has arrived. Many painstaking hours a day are dedicated to this new addiction.
We – the self-obsessed, the anxious, the eager-to-please, social communities of the 21st century – carefully select the lighting, the stance, the pose and the angle. And then snap up to 50 images of ourselves. A day. Yes… (not only) teenagers really do spend that much time taking pictures of themselves.
Then, the crafting, cropping, retouching and filtering begins on the selects, in the vain hope that the chosen one will generate more likes, shares and reactions than the last upload. Or even better, more than our ‘friends.’
So how can we, the marketing community, tap into this growing phenomenon? How about if we enhanced the selfie? What if we generated the ability to overlay ‘items of delight’ that we knew that our ‘friends’ loved (because they tell us… on social media… every day)? What if we added some sparkle and flare to really make the selfie interesting and aspirational to others?
Imagine, if you will, your neighbour proudly holding the latest, must-have Mulberry classic handbag; your sister sporting the latest Prada sunglasses; your partner wearing the new Burberry trench; or your work colleague fashioning some surprising piercings. They even wax lyrical about it, confirming that it was ‘made for them’ and that of course you must also buy said item, because hey, ‘it looks great on me…’
This way, the selfie suddenly becomes valuable.
It’s suddenly worth sharing because it’s no longer seen as vain and self-obsessed – and is actually, dare I say, interesting. The product and brand becomes personal and relevant when it’s endorsed by someone you know and trust, and it has context. It’s precise in its targetting and empathetic in its delivery. And creates free brand advocacy.
Want an example of this idea in action? We have seen the likes of L’Oréal UK offering an online ‘try a look’ hair service. It’s hilarious. One selects different hairstyles, colors and lengths and then overlays the new make-over on a selfie. It’s great. It works. And it sells products.
So, come on brands. Why aren’t more of you doing this? I would certainly be up for sharing images of myself wearing the latest MAC lipstick and a perfect pair of Delevingne eyebrows.
Because I can ‘try before I buy,’ create a totally personal and unique experience, share something that’s more interesting than ‘just another picture of me’ (that appears vain and slightly desperate) with my friends. But perhaps, more importantly, because consumers, myself included, seek that all-important peer approval, before pressing the ‘place order’ button. And brands would be able to smartly direct me (or any other consumer) to check each of these boxes, all from the comfort of my own designer chair at home… which, hey, I can also share.
Then I’ll tag the brands online, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Whatsapp – as you never know, they may offer me a discount or loyalty bonus, for you know, sharing, endorsing, promoting and becoming a brand ambassador. All because I want to.
And, if they’re lucky, I may even ‘like’ their page too. All this to say, let’s show some selfie respect, and really make our shots worth sharing… and create powerful CMR full of precision and empathy.
Ursula Benson, Business Director