Self, Oops, Selfie Marketing

by Kapil Vaishnani  |  21st Apr, 2016 in Marketing

What was special, we can’t say different, at this year’s Miss Universe pageant was that the contestants decided to bare it all and not in skimpy bikinis. Instead, they flipped out their smart phones and took Selfies, sans make-up for a very “noble cause,” i.e. to drive home the message that beauty is more than skin-deep.

Haven’t we heard that before?

Only this time, it’s coming from beauty endorsers, so carries more weight, if not truth.

Truth be told, they look ordinary enough, but at least, not phony or super-crafted.

Don’t underestimate the pull and power of Selfies, especially in the advertising industry. Smartphone makers introduced front-facing cameras, a long time ago, and the word has also wheedled its way into the Oxford dictionary. Since the Selfie became such a craze, people have been posting over 41 million photos of themselves on just Instagram alone. Small surprise that there are video tutorials now on YouTube on “How to take the Perfect Selfie for Instagram.”

By one conservative estimate, if a millennial were to continue his love affair with Selfies, he may well have a collection of over 25,000 Selfies, when he grows old! I just wonder, who is he going to pass on this precious heirloom to? Wouldn’t his kids be interested in their own, personal collection of Selfies?

But the phenomenon is certainly good for marketers.

Citing a survey done by Luster Premium White, a global manufacturer of teeth-whitening products, 95 percent of their target customers have taken at least one Selfie, The Daily Mail reported.

Undoubtedly Brands across the world are harnessing the power of Selfies in a host of ways —from soliciting user-generated content to creating interactive apps, getting them to post their Selfies with their products on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram pages.

There can be no denying that used in such an ingenious way, Selfies have the potential to give the product a humanizing flourish! Used with a hashtag, it’s marketing at no cost. Here are some examples of successful marketing campaigns built around Selfies.


It invited women to shed their inhibitions, take a Selfie and show the world how beautiful they were through the #DoveSelfie contest on social media that had themes for each day – hair, skin, eyes, etc.


Kicked off by Max Bupa Health Insurance that targets the entire family, Max Bupa invited Twitter users to post family Selfies with their loved ones. The campaign, reportedly garnered an outreach of 244,000 and picked 500 targeted followers in four days.

Skybags #BackIsTheNewFront

In order to promote the brand’s latest backpack, the cool campaign encouraged target customers to click reverse Selfies, showing off their new bag packs, either with a mirror or taking a friend’s help.

McDowell’s Signature – #SignatureSelfies

The contest had ace fashion photographer, Atul Kasbekar use an Android and iOS app to enhance the Selfie submitted by the contestants, with tips from the photographer.  Watch him in action here.

Big brands like KLM & Dunkin’ Donuts have often used the Selfie concept for Facebook marketing and to good effect. Dunkin’ Donuts slaps the best among the lot on its digital billboard at Times Square. And if you record your stay at Mövenpick hotel by posting a Selfie, you might earn a 5-night stay at your favourite location.

The good thing about Selfie marketing is that it helps brands make people feel good about themselves. This creates good feelings for the brand in return.

That’s a big takeaway, wouldn’t you agree?

Founder - Chairman, Litmus Branding Pvt. Ltd.
Who am I?
The name that was given to me and a few designations after that.

But here’s how I define this ‘who’-
The one who is still unsuccessful in breaking the myth, “truth is only that which I have understood”.

The one who finds joy in coming across the perfect ideas through बातचीत.

The one who struggles to improve his net game on the tennis court.

And the one who wants to ‘Just Be’.

Just be present with full absence & be absent with full presence.

That’s who I am.

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