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Amy’s Spotlight: From Hollywood to Healthcare – A Sense of Self(ie)

Amy Doner

Welcome to Amy’s Spotlight: From Hollywood to Healthcare. The blog will periodically provide commentary from Amy Doner, President and Founder of The Amy Doner Group, an established celebrity and talent procurement agency specializing in the pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare industries. Amy will offer her perspective on the influence celebrity, pop culture and related trends can have on today’s health-minded world and your business.

A Sense of Self(ie)

Why do you think “selfies” are so popular?

Definition of Selfie - From Oxford Dictionary
Definition of Selfie – From Oxford Dictionary

For a word that only became mainstream within the last couple of years, the “selfie” is certainly gaining traction at warp speed. It was already an Oxford University Press word of the year for 2013, the subject of a song title, and even the name of a television show at one point.

The global use of smartphones with front-facing cameras, the ability to take one picture – delete – and take a better one a second later, plus incredible growth and interest in sharing photos through social media has propelled the advent of the “selfie” by an incredible 17,000% since only 2012! And, boy is it trending – #selfie is mentioned practically hundreds of million times, tied to the multitude of poses appearing all over Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat and Pinterest. “Selfies” also seem to inspire others and instill confidence in sharing one’s own personal narrative.

When did “selfies” help change “the business of celebrity?”

Bradley Cooper's Selfie at Oscars
Bradley Cooper’s Selfie at Oscars

Probably the most memorable, defined moment in time where “selfies”evolved into the mainstream was at the 2014 Academy Awards, where actor and nominee Bradley Cooper took a “selfie” surrounded by many of his Hollywood friends and colleagues. With over 3.3 million Tweets and retweets, this became one of the most tweeted “selfies” to date. Unlike seeing celebrities all glammed up for a television appearance, in costume for a movie, or maybe even caught in the act by paparazzi while at the grocery store, celebrity “selfies” allow our favorite famous folks to connect with their fans in a more personal way – conveying their interests on their own terms for all the world to see.

How can “selfies” have value in healthcare communications?
Many might think of “selfies” as frivolous social gestures — a teenage girl after getting a great haircut, a tourist in front of the Eiffel Tower, a foodie about to eat her creation. Instead, “selfies” are taking on a functional life of their own in the business world and are being integrated into many platforms as a sound way to market and communicate with a well-defined purpose.

Go Red for Women - American Heart Association Campaign
Go Red for Women – American Heart Association Campaign

Our industry has seen the #strongarmselfie to fight colorectal cancer, American women posing to #gored for Women’s Heart Month, and #alsicebucketchallenge, which was the most popular, trendiest and selfless way to cool off for a cause last summer. We’re also seeing more and more celebrity “healthies” which show your favorites in yoga poses, running on the beach or cooking a healthy meal. This reminds us how celebrities can use their flair for fitness to motivate others to do the same.

Celebrities can effortlessly make their “selfies” relatable to demonstrate a connection to something else for the greater good. The Amy Doner Group too is working with clients to integrate and customize the “selfie” in celebrity-driven consumer health education campaigns.

Post a question or comment here. For more information about The Amy Doner Group, go to AmyDonerGroup.com