The Selfie Obsession

Yup, it’s official. It’s a selfie world, and we’re all just living in it. The evolution of the selfie in popular culture over the last year particularly has been a whirlwind. First, the word “selfie” became Oxford Dictionary's 2013 Word of the Year, allowing duck-face experts everywhere to rejoice in the official addition of the word to the English language. (By the way, if you haven’t caught on by now, selfie is defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media.”)

Next, there was the #SELFIE song, cooked up by the NYC DJ duo The Chainsmokers as an homage to the present Era of Instagram. It has been invading the airwaves, perfectly capturing the self-centered social media-obsessed society we live in these days. You can read more about the song here.

And then there was the selfie heard ‘round the world. On the eve of the 2014 Oscars earlier this month, host Ellen DeGeneres orchestrated the most epic selfie of all with a group of A-list actors including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts and more. The super-sized selfie, which Ellen shared via Twitter, reportedly “broke” the social media platform, becoming the most retweeted post of all time, with more than 3 million retweets to-date.

Photo Credit: @TheEllenShow


The Oscars selfie ploy garnered some coveted airtime for Samsung, a major sponsor of the 86th annual Academy Awards. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 was featured prominently on camera as Bradley Cooper, seen in the foreground, was filmed holding the phone as the stars huddled in for the shot.

But Samsung (which also had another successful selfie moment in their #TogetherWeRise campaign) is not the only brand getting in on the selfie train. Companies like Target, AXE and GoPro have all gotten into the mix with some kind of selfie campaign that still stays true to their brand identity, while plugging into the word of the hour. When a cultural phenomenon like the selfie aligns with a brand’s core image and can offer fans a compelling way to engage, that’s when the conversation clicks.

For example, AXE’s #AXESelfie Challenge campaign encouraged user-generated content by prompting fans to take a funny selfie with an AXE product and post it to Instagram with the hashtag #AXESelfie for a chance to win a year’s worth of AXE goods. According to an inforgraphic for the Shorty Awards, of the brand’s seven social media campaigns in 2013, the #AXESelfie Challenge garnered the most engagement.

Purina’s Beggin’ Strips brand of dog treats even got furry friends into the selfie craze with the #BegginSelfie campaign, encouraging pet owners to share photos of their dog’s selfies to be featured in their #SelfieSunday roundup on Twitter.

Photo Credit: @Beggin


Here at Curator, integrating our brands naturally into social conversation in ways that are authentic to their brand identity is important.

Here are some quick tips for brands that want to dabble in the selfie space:

-- Display your brand’s strong points but don’t exaggerate or misrepresent them. Customers will find out and call you out on it. -- Don’t take jabs at the competition. No one likes a hater. -- Focus on the “insta” in Instagram. Provide content as you go and avoid too many #latergrams. The beauty of social media is sharing a message in real-time. -- Use social media dashboards to direct social media traffic back to your website. -- Dare to be different to stand out above competing messages, but don’t stray too far from your brand’s true voice. -- Keep photos of actual people in your selfies relevant to your brand and your brand’s mission. -- Don’t over-post. Like that annoying friend in your Instagram feed that ONLY posts photos of herself, too many selfies can alienate your followers.

We’d love to help incorporate your brands into this cultural phenomenon, but first, let us take a selfie…