Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Samsung Selfie Seen Round the World

Sunday night's Oscars telecast included one of the most widely retweeted photos ever: Ellen DeGeneres using a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 to take selfies with other celebrities in the audience. Here's one shot of the Twitter post...missing the Samsung phone which is in Bradley Cooper's outstretched hand. But the audience watching at home saw the whole thing, and the distinctive Galaxy phone.
Can you read the number of retweets? More than 3.1 million as of two days later, and more than 1.7 million favorites. Enough retweets to briefly crash Twitter. A new record in retweets, as of this moment. This is social media marketing at work during one of the most widely-seen telecasts of the year, doing what it does best: encouraging sharing of positive marketing-related messages (from a group of well-known opinion leaders, no less).

Samsung publicly says it didn't actually stage the stunt, even though it was a major advertiser during the telecast (to the tune of $20 million). Yes, the company provided the Galaxy phones and showed Ms. DeGeneres how to use them. Then the company stepped back and let the improv flow, touching off a viral firestorm that added to the product's high profile. Not exactly product placement, not exactly advertising, but definitely smart marketing.

Apparently the star also used an iPhone to tweet during the show. Still, Samsung was so happy with the results of the selfie seen round the world that it later donated $3 million to charities of Ms. DeGeneres's choice.

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