Is the wave of selfies filling every social media feed the result of a hopelessly vain generation? Or is it a language of self-expression and personal awareness that could provide marketers and brands with a wealth of information?
In truth, the selfie trend is not the result of a sudden change in humanity’s degree of self-love but is caused by the ready availability of the technology that enables this form of self-expression. What are the portraits that hang on the walls of the Louvre after all but a ‘selfie’ commissioned by the rich and wealthy with the technology and know-how of the times?
“Today’s rich visual language is anything but new, in fact, it parallels medieval culture,” observes Paul Foster, senior director of creative content at Getty Images. “As literacy rates were low, established religions would communicate with stained glass windows. What this indicates is that imagery is the language of perception it’s the way people choose to communicate even when they have access to language.”
It has also started to influence professional imagery. Last year it was one of the quickest rising key-word searches on Getty Images. According to the stock photo agency, in Q2 of 2012, only one search term included the word ‘selfie’. In the second quarter of this year, it was the 20th most searched term, only slightly less searched than ‘couple’ and slightly more searched than ‘party’. Today, Getty has around 4,000 creative stills tagged ‘selfie’, about 30 per cent of which have been added to the collection this year alone.
So what does the selfie say about the young consumer? According to Social@Ogilvy’s new managing director for Asia-Pacific, Fergus Hay, it’s become reflexive for Millennials to take what was once mundane and private and turn it into a public and highly controlled personal brand image. “They put forward the image they want the world to believe of them at any given moment.”Read the full article on Campaign Asia