Most of you have probably already seen Cancer Research UK’s #NoMakeUpSelfie campaign. It has taken Facebook by storm, and has raised £2million for the charity in just 48 hours. So, the begging question left to answer is: why has the campaign been so successful?
1. Using the word “selfie”
It pains me to even admit that there is such a word as selfie, but low and behold it’s true. Why spend time hatin’ when we could spend time raising money for charity. It’s exactly what Cancer Research UK have done. The word selfie was 2013’s Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year, and Cancer Research UK have cleverly pounced upon that fact to make something incredible happen. They’ve clearly done a lot of market research on the people who would use the word selfie and how applicable it is to social media. It’s something that social media users can relate to, understand and are used to. Selfies are a thing whether we like it or not, better to just accept it and donate some money to charity. (Text BEAT to 70099 to donate £3). Indeed, it shouldn’t be forgotten that #nomakeup, already trends on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, so Cancer Research UK quite simply, and ingeniously, utilized a hash tag to raise awareness for their campaign.
2. Social Media Storm
The world selfie, is mostly applicable to social media, with teens and young adults taking selfies that can be uploaded instantly to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The two go hand in hand together, no questions asked. Cancer Research UK, were simply tapping in to a market that is already doing what they have asked. Essentially, the campaign is a way for people to take guilt free photographs of themselves, all in the name of charity! Some of the negative criticism for the campaign, has surrounded this – “getting people to take a photograph of themselves is vain”. So what? If it’s in the name of charity, is raising awareness for a great cause, and has helped to raise millions of pounds, does it really matter?
Additionally, by using such a personal campaign across social media, Cancer Research UK are spreading their campaign through a close-nit network of friends and family. This organic growth to support the charity, nicely mirrors their other campaigns – by reaching out to people who have been affected by cancer. It makes sense, by getting people to get their friends and family to help out, Cancer Research UK have created a bespoke and personal campaign that supports the charity and shows them as fun, interactive and reaching out to everyday people.
Let’s not forget the nomination aspect of it either. The way the campaign went viral, was through people doing their “no make up selfie” and then nominating their friends and family to do the same. Essentially mimicking the “nek nominations” (which I thorough disagree with), friends are almost guilt tripped into taking their photo in the name of cancer research.
It’s genius, it really is. People are taking selfies anyway, and posting them to social media platforms, so why not turn it into a campaign?
3. No Make Up
Recently, across various media and marketing campaigns, there has been a rise in exposing women’s natural beauty – no photoshop, no make up and nothing fake. Cancer Research UK have only furthered this trend by reaching out to people, to be themselves. Yes, it is jumping on the bandwagon, but Cancer Research UK have separated their campaign by bringing it to the everyday person. Other marketing campaigns (I’m thinking about Dove here), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpaOjMXyJGkuse use TV advertisements to show natural beauty. They focus on actors and actresses to make their point. Cancer Research UK has bought it to the everyday person, and have used their network of friends and family to build esteem for the campaign. It’s giving women the confidence to post a picture of themselves, to raise money for charity, it’s simple but so effective. It has been an ingenious campaign from Cancer Research UK, and they have caused a media frenzy in doing so. They’ve capitalized on a digital media outreach, by focussing on a target audience that are tech savvy, know about selfies and are already willing to show their natural beauty. The icing on the cake, has been monetizing an outlet that people already utilize so happily- the selfie. In doing so, Cancer Research UK are showing that they know how to raise money for a great cause. Hats off to you Cancer Research UK, I think you’ve outdone yourselves, but what do you think?