It appears that 2014 will be the year of selfie campaigns in India. Every brand worth its buzz is leveraging the ‘selfie’ phenomenon, be it in the fast moving consumer goods category or financial services needing to build consumer bond. Brands are also getting creative at this by weaving selfie stories around brand communication.
The latest to join the selfie bandwagon is toothpaste brand, Colgate where it seeks to promote ‘Colgate Visible White’, a toothpaste claiming to give you 1 shade whiter teeth in a week. The brand has created a smile enhancement tool so users can sport whiter teeth in their selfies, quite literally.
I’m always skeptical of products that claim to whiten teeth, having been a guinea pig for such miracle toothpastes and toothpowders for most of my adolescent life and can say for sure that pearly whites are god-gifted or the work of a modern cosmetic dentist. Nevertheless, there’s no harm in giving the toothpaste a week’s trial to test its claims. Moreover, there’s no harm in trying out the online tool for an enhanced smile.
The tool is hosted on a Facebook app on the Colgate India page. You can upload your picture from the computer, or pull out from your Facebook album or even click one through the webcam. The app then provides basic tools to adjust brightness, contrast and even rotate your picture. A little toothpaste icon can be used to apply the visible white effect.
The picture generated thus is autographed by actress and brand ambassador, Sonam Kapoor. The app then gives you the option to share it on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest or onto your system. To be frank, I applied the Visible white tool to my picture but didn’t see any difference. Perhaps there is a way to use it correctly, but the app didn’t share about that.
Weaving a brand story around selfies
Selfies are the reigning trend on social networks especially Instagram with #selfie having the most number of posts. However, ‘selfies’ are being increasingly overdone in brand campaigns, so much so that very soon it could result in a selfie boycott stage. But the ease of running selfie campaigns is what keeps them going. Colgate’s Visible White selfie campaign has at least managed to promote its product with a relevant message using selfies.
Moreover, the campaign does address a pressing problem associated with selfies and the new obsession of clicking your picture every time of the day. Youngsters with discoloured teeth are indeed less likely to be camera friendly and far more averse to clicking their selfies and sharing it with their social connections. Hence a product like Colgate Visible White might sound good enough to try.
However, the campaign does not offer any tangible incentives; all the user gets at the end is their selfie corrected with whiter teeth. This could be a major put off for fans. Also, having a mobile app which auto shares on Instagram could be a better bet to gain visibility.