04 March 2014

That Oscar "selfie" wasn't really spontaneous

The Wall Street Journal explains:
Ms. DeGeneres toyed with a white Samsung phone during the broadcast, including when she handed a Galaxy Note 3 to actor Bradley Cooper so he could take a "selfie" photo of himself and other stars including Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Lawrence surrounding the host.

While the stunt felt spontaneous, it wasn't entirely unplanned. As part of its sponsorship and ad pact for the Oscars with ABC, the TV network airing the show, Samsung and its media buying firm Starcom MediaVest negotiated to have its Galaxy smartphone integrated into the show...

 Ms. DeGeneres, in the days leading up to the broadcast, decided she wanted to take "selfies" during the show and ABC suggested she use a Samsung since it was a sponsor, another person familiar with the matter said. During rehearsals Samsung executives trained Ms. DeGeneres on how to use the Samsung Galaxy, two people familiar with the matter said.

 "It was a great plug for the Samsung brand," said Allen Adamson, managing director at Landor Associates, a branding firm owned by WPP PLC. "Ellen's selfie is going to be more impactful than their commercials. You can't buy that magic of going viral," he added...

Having products appear in a program—product placement—has been a part of the TV business since the early days of the medium. But it has become a more popular marketing technique in recent years as ad-skipping via digital video recorders has prompted marketers to look for ways to break free of the confines of the commercial break...

Helping reinforce the value of the plug was Ms. DeGeneres' tweeting of the selfie. It was retweeted nearly 3 million times as of Monday afternoon. While the tweet didn't mention Samsung, the fact it was taken by a Samsung phone was clear on the TV screen at the time. At one point Samsung was getting about 900 mentions a minute on social media, according to Kontera, a company that tracks content on social media sites.


  1. I believe that this is actually Bradley Cooper's selfie because he took the photo and I am of the opinion that US copyright law gives ownership of a photograph to the photographer. Ms DeGeneres "owned" the phone but does not, I believe, own the image. (Persnickety point of order?!)

    Your fan Chris

  2. It would be naïve of anyone to think that the "selfie" was spontaneous in todays' commercial atmosphere.

  3. Worth noting that after all the plugs Samsung donated $1 for each retweet, for a total of $3 million, to charities of Ellen's choice. She picked the Humane Society and St. Jude's Children's Hospital, I believe.

  4. " You can't buy that magic of going viral," ...actually, you can. And they did.

  5. That picture is not a selfie...

    1. It's a picture of a selfie being taken...

      And did anyone say the Ellen selfie was spontaneous??

    2. Well, where is the selfie itself? Has anyone seen it? The only picture I see in relation to this story is the one here...

  6. It's been on her show numerous times and you can google to see the actual image. It's pretty cute!


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