Feature

Samsung’s Oscar selfie

Samsung may have received more publicity during the Academy Awards broadcast from host Ellen DeGeneres's “selfie” than from paid advertising.

Samsung Electronics spent $20 million on ads during this week’s Academy Awards broadcast, said Suzanne Vranica in The Wall Street Journal, but the Korean tech firm “may have got more promotional mileage from Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres during the show itself.” DeGeneres gathered stars for a “selfie”—shot with a Samsung smartphone—that was retweeted more than 3 million times, beating President Obama’s record for the most retweeted posting in Twitter history. “At one point Samsung was getting about 900 mentions a minute on social media,” far exceeding the impact of the conventional ads. “You can’t buy that magic of going viral,” said branding expert Allen Adamson. Still, “the Samsung stunt didn’t come off without a hitch.” Twitter sleuths quickly pointed out that while backstage, DeGeneres was tweeting with a rival iPhone.

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