The 'Selfie's' Potential for Advertisers

Stylised selfies are dominating the social sphere, says Senior Commercial Research Executive Sam Wood, and smart brands can get in on the action by providing an attractive platform.

In August 2013 the term "Selfie" was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary. A Selfie is a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically taken with a smartphone or webcam, and uploaded to a social media website. One quick look at a celebrities’ twitter feeds or your friend’s Facebook page will show an abundance of selfies dominating the landscape (admit it, you’ve taken one recently too).

Social networkers are using the online space to present their best version of themselves thanks to apps like Instagram & Snapseed. And with IOS 7 giving us instant access to picture formats that allow us to enhance appearances, we can instantly manage our social profiles to look as good as possible. In fact, a study by NVision found that 45% of people wished they were more like the person they describe in their social profile.

We now have the ability to instantly turn the practically mundane to the extraordinary. (Just see below for my own handy work of a trip to Hunstanton).

Sam's pics


But how do brands tap into this human instinct to perform and seek other's approval? In the most simplistic way, all they have to do is provide a platform. In the UK, Skittles and Cadburys Cream Egg are two of the most followed brands on social networks and are great examples of brands that provide platforms for their fans to perform.

The two examples below represent how the brands are engaging with fans through user-generated content. They are making their fans famous and celebrating their loyalty. But most importantly they are placing them on a platform in front of millions, giving them access to the social recognition they seek.

selfie 2