Top of the month: Samsung lands supporting role in Oscars A-list selfie

PRWeek senior reporter John Owens applauds Samsung and Ellen DeGeneres for earning sponsorship amplification.

Samsung: centre stage at the Oscars
Samsung: centre stage at the Oscars

Samsung reportedly spent $20m on associating itself with the Oscars, between sponsorship, product placement and advertising during the breaks.

But the first time I heard of the brand being linked with the glitzy event was when I read news reports questioning the authenticity of how the A-list ‘selfie’ had come to be taken on a Samsung phone. It was clear Samsung would not have got the coverage if it had not made the product placement deal, given that DeGeneres was using her iPhone to take backstage pictures.

However, the brand was lucky DeGeneres was open to the gig. She engineered the star-packed shot, tweeted it without cheesy references to Samsung and encouraged her A-list buddies to retweet it. At which point Samsung got lucky again because it broke the world record for retweets.

The brand then cleverly allowed DeGeneres to announce on her talk show that it would donate $3m to charities of her choice because of its exposure.

I believe it’s called ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’.

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