The #NoMakeupSelfie has been a huge consumer-led campaign to raise money and awareness for Cancer Research UK this week. This campaign involved consumers uploading a picture of themselves with no makeup on to social networking sites (such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) to spread the word and donate to Cancer Research UK. The campaign grew organically as Cancer Research didn’t officially start the campaign themselves. However, the #NoMakeupSelfie stemmed from the #DareToBare campaign that Cancer Research launched where women would be sponsored to go without makeup for a certain amount of days. The campaign so far has raised £8 million for Cancer Research. So how did the #NoMakeupSelfie become such a successful campaign when it was started by consumers?
Firstly, the campaign utilized viral marketing as everyone shared their pictures and information about the campaign using the hashtag. The use of the hashtag in this campaign made the #NoMakeupSelfie trend so that people from all walks of life could see this and find out about it. It is widely known that people like to feel as though they belong and are apart of things; therefore, this would work as a motivation to donate and take part. Research has found that for charities to raise awareness, media exposure is important (Cone, 2010). This campaign was talked about a lot in the media and even celebrities started to share their pictures and donate; thus, this could be another reason why the campaign was so successful.
Secondly, the #NoMakeupSelfie campaign may have been so successful as it was so easy to get involved. Consumers didn’t have to spend much time or effort to take part in this campaign as you could simply text ‘BEAT’ to 70007 to donate. Therefore, consumers could take part from anywhere and get involved which is a lot easier than other charity campaigns where you have to get sponsors and do something.
Finally, research has found that feeling close to a charity can facilitate giving (Smith & Schwarz, 2012). Cancer is such a common disease as 1 in 3 people will get cancer (Cancer Research UK, 2014). Therefore, it is likely that the majority of people will know someone who has had cancer, making the charity close to many people. Consumers will have more of an incentive to get involved if they know someone who has had cancer. Contradictory to this, research has also found that awareness-raising campaigns of charities that are already well known can have negative consequences (Smith & Schwarz, 2012). However, as this #NoMakeupSelfie campaign was not officially launched by Cancer Research UK, maybe this is a reason why it was so successful.