Volumes have already been written about Sunday’s Oscars and Ellen’s Selfie in particular. It’s the most retweeted tweet of all time. However it was reportedly pre-meditated as part of Samsung’s more than $20 million sponsorship of the night.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
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, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Many were trumpeting The Selfie and Samsung’s marketing as a “huge win” for the Korean conglomerate I’m not so sure. First there was the awkwardness of the onstage Galaxy presence but backstage iPhone tweets.
But more importantly The Selfie is not linked in the public mind with Samsung, nor will it be remembered as having been taken with a Galaxy Note. Over time there will be no connection between this Academy Awards, The Selfie and Samsung. While in the nearly $15 billion aggregate, Samsung’s marketing has helped make it the world’s dominant Android OEM, the millions spent on Sunday may have largely been wasted.
What struck me however is how deeply integrated into the popular consciousness social media have become. This is what was striking about the Twitter references and The Selfie. Some threshold or watershed moment has been crossed. These social media moments are now the pop cultural glue of the society.