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Posts Tagged ‘selfies’

The Selfie Paradox

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Nearly from the dawn of social media and digital cameras, the phenomenon of the ‘selfie’ was born. It’s become so popular that the word ‘selfie’ was Oxford Dictionary’s international Word of the Year in 2013. According to Google, 93 million selfies are taken per day and females aged 16 to 25 spend five hours per week taking selfies – are we a bunch of egomaniacs, or what ?

With the booming popularity of selfies, it’s safe to assume that people love seeing them; similar to the way they love YouTube cat videos and hilarious memes, right? But no… A recent study by Ludwig-Maximilians-University found that 82% of respondents said they would like to see fewer selfies and more of other kinds of photos on social media. Interestingly, 50% of those same respondents admitted to taking and posting selfies themselves.

Why the paradoxical results? According to researchers, these discrepancies suggest that selfies fulfill some basic psychological needs in terms of self-representation and self-image. To justify this need, people have created a selfie-bias; convincing themselves that their own selfies are authentic, genuine and at the same time ‘self-ironic’ with little emotional commitment. Conversely, they view other people’s selfies as fake, narcissistic, manipulative and annoying. For example, 90% of respondents said other people’s selfies were crafted to project a specific image and 40% of respondents perceived self-irony in their own selfies, compared to just 13% for other people’s selfies.

But how can so many people be habitually participating in a behavior they essentially see as ridiculous? Researchers say it’s a classic case of ‘cognitive dissonance’ — but to the average Joe, it sounds downright irrational, incoherent and batty.

Why would anyone rationalize that their selfies are somehow more favorable or enjoyable than the other 93 million taken on any given day? Do they really think they’re that special? It’s time to accept that everyone’s selfies are regrettable and no one likes seeing them (except of course for the person taking the selfie). Let’s stop the selfie madness and spend all of that extra time doing something productive, like capturing more adorable cat videos.

Brand Awareness & Selfies

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

Around the world, about 1 million selfies are taken daily – particularly amongst the younger generation. But when it comes to taking selfies on behalf of a marketing initiative, does the obsession translate?

Brands are struggling to connect with the millennial generation, of which, 84% claim that they “do not like nor trust all forms of advertising.” As such, brands are forced to reevaluate and suggest other ideas to try to attract the elusive audience. There is no point spending advertising dollars in front of a reluctant viewer, so instead of reaching out to mega-celebrities for endorsements, brand marketers are turning to their own customers on lower-cost platforms in a bid for success. Using social media to capitalize on free, user-generated content to drive engagement and sales, brands are asking their customers to be brand ambassadors through #hashtagged selfies. But does this tactic work?

Over the past year, more brands have tried to incorporate selfies in their marketing campaigns. Ellen DeGeneres’ Samsung Galaxy selfie at last year’s Academy Awards helped fuel some of the buzz for the marketing tactic and Dove, AXE, Aerie and Pantene are just a few of the brands who have implemented selfies in their campaigns.

Survey Monkey conducted a study to explore surveyors’ perceptions of selfie campaigns. While nearly three out of four respondents said that an ad company that included selfies would not prompt them to buy a product, over 50% of respondents thought selfie campaigns were actually effective.

Not all brands should adapt hashtags and selfies in their marketing plans just because they seem to be a global sensation. There is no denying that brands have achieved significant success from their campaigns, but for many brands, it simply wouldn’t work for every product, messaging and target audiences.

Never lose sight of your foundational brand messaging when considering new marketing strategies. It’s easy to fall into the trap of ‘everybody else is doing it,’ but it is far better to be the outlier, than it is to have a drop in sales because of a poorly designed campaign for your business.

Ann Keeling says:

Millennials are a generation that’s, well, obsessed with themselves. I’m not saying every single person who falls into the Millennial generation, but as a whole they do tend to be a very narcissistic generation. Studies suggest that the Millennial generation is the most likely to live at home and/or return home if the “real world” doesn’t work out, or to save money to buy a house, etc; to wait to get married and to have children – if they ever do. Our society, in fact, will suffer from under-population in the coming decades because of this generation’s decision not to reproduce. So I guess there’s a reason why selfies are all the rage these days….