Quirky selfie trends in the (Far) East – And how Max Factor transformed smog into a new trend

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Quirky selfie trends in the East Asia

A ‘trend’ might not be the most appropriate word to describe what is going on in social media in the East Asia these days.

It tends to be short-lived. You will never be able to guess how long it’s going to stay there. Some trend could just vanish in less than a year. Or even a month.

Nevertheless, selfies remain to be an exciting trend, as long as mobile phones exist. And as long as we add a little bit of twist to the concept, like #nomakeupselfie and sellotape selfies (or so-called sellofies).

Are they also viral in some East Asian countries?

Mmm… why not. But they are busy with their own ‘twists’.

#Maxfactor #China #smogbusters

Whatever is happening in East Asia will be most likely to stay in the ‘Far’ East. I doubt that they will go viral globally. But surely they are considered to be some kind of phenomenon.

You probably know that air pollution is one of the most frequently discussed social issues among the people in China. Particularly for those in big cities like Beijing or Shanghai.

As almost every urban Chinese citizen has to cope with the pollution, ‘many brands are wondering how they can integrate this theme into their content strategy’ says Lab Brand.

So Max Factor came up with a brilliant idea. Its most recent online contest campaign on Weibo was titled as ‘’smog busters -smog, give me back my beautiful face!’’.

max factor's selfie campaign(Sina Weibo/Max Factor)

What’s the story?

It all started when the brand had found a ‘correlation between pollution level and sales of eye makeup’ (Lab Brand).

Don’t ask me why.

But apparently, if half of your face is covered by a mask, then your eyes are the only parts remaining to ‘make an impression’. Therefore a bit more extra efforts on your eyes.

The smog is not going to disappear anytime soon. So why not make the most out of it? This led to the emergence of a face mask selfie. So female modafinil200mg fans were asked to upload and share their “most creative or most beautiful ‘face mask makeup’ looks” (see more on Jing Daily). The incentive? – To win eye makeup products and the chance to be in ‘Marie Claire China’. I assume with their masks on?

Moreover, Maxfactor’s Weibo account featured a video where a famous eye-makeup expert giving practical advice for ‘smog weather beauty’.

Max Factor's selfie campaign

What are the takeaways?

Well-played and smartly executed?

The brand was fast in spotting the positive relationship between the smog level and the sales of certain products. And it was fast enough to turn a negative social phenomenon into a viral online campaign, using selfies and hashtags.

The campaign is actually still going on, until April 25. But so far, it’s been pretty successful, according to Jing Daily. Over 33,000 Weibo users have taken part in the campaign.

It’s all down to how fast your brand reacts to social changes. And the ability to come up with the best digital marketing strategy – with a twist.

Given the environmental condition, maybe brands with an ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘sustainable’ ideology will have a better chance of winning the attention of Chinese consumer from now on.

Max Factor's selfie campaign

Speaking of mask selfies, there was a similar trend early this year coming from Japan that was supposed to go viral.

#HairSmile or #HairFly


At least, mask selfies allow you to show the beauty of half-face. But #hairsmile is simply a no-face-at-all selfie. Basically, young Shibuya girls looking down, only showing their colourful nails and massive hair.

The reason is not clear.  A sense of modesty in Japanese subculture that pretty much goes against traditional Japanese feminine beauty (black hair, pale skin in conservative outfit)? (See more on Kotaku.) Or to show off their ‘hairdos’ and nail art? More likely, they might just do it to make their face look smaller and eyes bigger. Who knows?

Quirky selfie trends

quirky selfie trends

But I think this so-called trend started quite a long time ago when this movie came out.

See the resemblance?

quirky selfies

Image sources: Jing Daily, Kotaku, LabBrand




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