Feb 12, 2014

Brand Content in the Age of the Selfie

Our wedding selfie

Our wedding selfie

I got married last November.  It was a great day that was immortalized online via all of my social channels when my husband took his phone, pointed it at us, and said, “Time for our Wedding Selfie.”

We’ve all done it – and on multiple occasions.  We take a self-pic….or Selfie.  Oxford Dictionary stated that the word, “Selfie” was the word of 2013.   Searching  the term “selfie” reveals that this is not just a term that we are using nowadays  in reference to  a younger generation; people are really interested in looking at this content and producing it.

But here’s the question, is this a trend that carries over to brands?  How does the ability for people to easily create their own content today impact the content that is being created by brands as a whole?

Google trends on the word "selfie"

Google trends on the word “selfie”

Throughout history, there have been many defining moments for content and art.  I reference art because in history, it has mostly been art that has depicted for the masses a reflection of itself.  Now, I’m no art historian (but I did take one art history course when I attended Syracuse University), but we’ve seen some interesting changes in how art has gone through a similar evolution as man from depicting the Gods, to the rich, to the common everyday person.   When Renoir first depicted everyday people doing everyday normal things, this was a revolutionary idea to the art world and to us….but not anymore.   Today, the ability for anyone to create a piece of content at any time challenges all of us to work harder as we create.

#KissTed on Instagram

#KissTed on Instagram

Brands are playing with the idea of the selfie and trying to incorporate it into their marketing campaigns.   The clothing brand, Ted Baker, used the idea of the selfie in their holiday campaign using in-store and window displays to display social content using the hashtag #KissTed. Mobile Commerce Daily wrote about this unique program in creating social buzz and a search on Instagram metrics provider, Statigram, found that the hashtag #KissTed was used on Instagram approximately 588 times.

Some brands are even opting to incorporate selfies into their campaigns.  Dove had tremendous success in 2013 with the Dove Real Beauty campaign, earning them the title of Titanium Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.  This campaign was also one of the most viewed releases on PR Newswire last year.  Great success however doesn’t stop the creative mind.  Dove followed up with their #BeautyIs campaign that co-opts the idea with a short-film entitled, “Selfie.”  This campaign follows the same principles and ideas of their “Real Beauty” campaign and has achieved organic results with over 765,000 views to day.

Click the image to view the entire multimedia news release

Click the image to view the entire multimedia news release

So, brands are trying things out…and that’s good, but does that answer how a brand competes with user created content and the selfie?  At PR Newswire, research has shown multiple times that content with multimedia performs better than content without.  However, that doesn’t mean that all multimedia is created equal.  Your content today has to drive connection and action in order to be successful.

This is a subject I will be exploring further in San Francisco on March 27th in a seminar series entitled, “How To Keep Your Content Relevant in the  Age of the Selfie.” Click here to register now: http://prn.to/P8Wi6l 

Pranikoff LinkedIn Headshot - Sept 2013

Michael Pranikoff is PR Newswire’s Global Director, Emerging Media. Follow him on Twitter @mpranikoff or add him to your circle on Google+

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