Selfies continue to be cool but they have lost a substantial chunk of the coolness quotient. These days most phenomena get classified as cool or hot and incidentally both tend to imply the same emotional response. The phenomenon of taking a selfie had barely taken some form with the front facing camera in some cell phones that it became a worldwide practice. It spread like wildfire. Half a decade later and selfies are losing their significance.
This is not to state that selfie is dead. It is very much alive and kicking. In fact, there are companies making selfie phones with state of the art front cameras. People don’t want VGA cameras any more. They want high resolution cameras in the front for that perfect selfie. How does this change the use of selfies in branding? Brands all around the world use selfies, by influencers or brand ambassadors and also by customers or consumers to promote their products. Is that still effective?
Selfies continue to be effective because they are still relevant. Selfie is reflective of what’s trending, it is cool and is an organic way of presenting a particular state of being. Mobile photography is here to stay so selfie would not be dead anytime soon. Selfies have enabled brands to customize their outreach programs to an unprecedented extent. Imagine having a hundred thousand people clicking selfies where you have a hundred thousand unique images. This is impossible to produce even with the best screenwriter and the most prolific creative producer.
Brands can create an organic outreach program with the selfie-esque perspective. Normal selfies are not staged to the extent of a production in a studio. One celebrity posting a selfie ignites a spree of the followers taking similar selfies and this leads to the brand trending for hours if not days. This viral nature of selfie is what drives most brands to stay invested in such campaigns.
However, not all is hunky-dory in selfie world. Many people are failing to keep it real. Selfies are popular because they are real, untouched, un-staged and just random. When it becomes too staged, too edited and obviously fake, the whole spirit is compromised. Brands must be conscious of this negative perception. Many brands have started developing organic strategies to source selfies instead of producing them or concocting a trend.
Selfie with celebrities is here to stay. Organic selfies of fans or customers will stay. What will emerge as more common are the concepts like 360 degree selfie. That is the only way ahead purely from the technological perspective.
Are selfies part of your marketing strategy?