A couple of hours ago, Ellen DeGeneres posted a selfie of her and Jennifer Lawrence, Angelina Jolie, Bradley Cooper, Kevin Spacey, Jared Leto, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Lupita Nyong’o and Brad Pitt on Twitter that captured more attention than President Barack Obama picture after being re-elected to the White House in 2012. Ok and when I say more attention, I really meant to say 3x more attention. At the time of this post, Ellen’s Oscar picture had already been retweeted more than 2.3 Million times!
“But what’s so special about that picture”, a colleague asked me, “I mean, why would a simple pic like that capture that much attention?” Here’s my take from a personal branding perspective:
Humanizing the Brand
The main difference between product/service branding and personal branding is the human factor. Recent branding practices encourage personification to bridge the gap between the brand and its intended audience. Personal branding is all about expressing your brand while maintaining the “person” behind it. Ellen’s picture portrayed to her fans and the world as a whole that her fame didn’t make her any less human … just like you and I, she uses her phone to take selfies with her friends.
Raw & Uncut
Professional photographers, sophisticated lenses, retouching, magazine covers … we have no raw feed of the people we have come to love and admire. Ellen’s selfie tore down these walls of pretentiousness and portrayed the stars as normal people … which also explains the initial popularity of reality TV shows; and I say initial because nowadays that’s a whole script being enacted. Back to Ellen, she gave us a raw feed of a star’s life!
Humbleness and humility are priceless qualities to have specially when you can “afford not to!” Ellen’s picture received that much attention not because it’s an exceptional shot, in fact it’s far from being so from a photography perspective … but from a personal branding perspective is portrayed authenticity, it made the stars humble and within reach. It actually earned these stars more credibility and more respect!
In short, Ellen’s selfie reminded us of what really matters in personal branding, and that’s humility, humanity, and reality. What are your thoughts on the picture? Share them in the comments below!