Can the Smilie™ replace the Selfie?
Delta Dental of Minnesota

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April 29th, 2015

Can the Smilie™ replace the Selfie?

The “Smilie™” Encourages Senders to Share The Power Of Smile; Can it Replace the Selfie?

Delta Dental of Minnesota Harnesses the Power of Smile with Online Campaign

MINNEAPOLIS (April 29, 2015) – Imagine if you will, all 316 million Americans intentionally sharing their smiles with the goal of brightening the lives of their friends, co-workers and loved ones.

Delta Dental of Minnesota, Minnesota’s largest provider of dental insurance serving more than 4 million members conducted a test between January and April 2015 to see if Minnesotans would share their smiles with each other. The results of this experiment are captured in a new video released by Delta Dental of Minnesota.

Calling it a “Smilie™” instead of a Selfie, Delta Dental invited users to post a photo of themselves smiling along with a message based on the following sentence: “You make me smile because…” The smiles and messages were posted on the organization’s “Send A Smile” feature on and sent to the recipients through email and Instagram.

Traffic to tripled and many heartfelt, funny and unexpected Smilies have been sent; all of them on display at within the See The Smiles gallery.

The difference between a Smilie™ versus a Selfie, explains Tim Quinn, Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President Consumer Sales for Delta Dental of Minnesota, “is that with a Smilie, a person is intentionally trying to brighten another person’s day with a photo of their smile.”

“According to scientific research, sharing a smile can truly create positive feelings which may offer a positive impact on a person’s health,” Quinn says. “And, it’s a two-way street – both the person offering a smile and the person receiving a smile, benefit.” Quinn points to several scientific studies linking sharing of a smile with improvement in overall health. According to a Psychology Today article, “There’s Magic in Your Smile: How Smiling Affects Your Brain (June 2012),” smiling releases powerful chemicals in the brain that may reduce stress and lower heart rate. Similarly, a Swedish study revealed that when a person receives a smile, whether in person or even in a picture, our brains are hardwired to imitate the behavior – in other words, smile back.

“We are in the business of helping people use their dental benefits to attain and maintain healthy, powerful smiles,” Quinn added. “We know we’re doing our job when people want to share their smiles.

People with healthy teeth and healthy bodies feel more confident about themselves and are more productive. Healthy, powerful smiles are contagious – in a good way!”

About Delta Dental of Minnesota

Delta Dental of Minnesota is an independent, tax-exempt, nonprofit health services company that serves the oral health needs of Minnesota and North Dakota residents. Since 1969, Delta Dental of Minnesota has accomplished this mission by providing the best access across the state to oral health care through affordable dental plans. Delta Dental is an authorized licensee of the Delta Dental Plans Association of Oak Brook, Illinois. To learn more, go to