Ellen Degeneres’ selfie with Oscar A-listers has been all the buzz, “breaking” Twitter, and generally de-railing all post-show discussions of the awards ceremony. People are loving this sh*t.
So sorry if this dampens the magic, but it appears the bit was both premeditated and specifically geared to use a Samsung product.
As part of its sponsorship of the Oscars and ABC, Samsung negotiated to have its Galaxy smartphone integrated into the show. When Ellen decided prior to the show that she wanted to take “selfies” during her hosting, ABC suggested she use their sponsor’s phone, and a beautiful viral promotional was born. Indeed, while Samsung spent an estimated $20 million on ads during the Academy Awards, the company may have gotten more attention from the photo itself: “You can’t buy that magic of going viral,” explained one PR executive. In fact, at a high point after the stunt, Samsung was reportedly getting 900 mentions per minute on social media.
We don’t begrudge the move: Everyone—the A-listers, the Oscars, ABC, Samsung, pop culture adherents the world over—was happy, happy, happy, so what’s the harm? It’s just another example of how the “reality” TV movement is often less real than promised or portrayed.
But hey, that doesn’t mean it’s not solid entertainment.