— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
When the Oxford English Dictionary declared “selfie” the Word of the Year, it was official: the culturally obnoxious, completely ubiquitous, strangely addictive practice of posting self-taken portraits on social media is here to stay. There is no escape.
Rather than bemoan its existence, why not exploit its marketing value?
Samsung sprung a selfie sensation at the Academy Awards on Sunday by arranging for Samsung Galaxy spokeswoman (and Oscar host) Ellen DeGeneres to take the most Tweeted photo of all time.
Mildly unfocused and heavy on Bradley Cooper, the selfie destroyed the record for most retweets with 1.7 million in less than an hour. The previous record was held by none other than the President of the United States, Barack Obama.
Like a good spokesperson, DeGeneres kept her Galaxy handy and visible all evening long. Hiring the popular talk show host was a shrewd move for Samsung, but understanding the cultural impact its product has on social relevance is the ultimate genius for the electronics brand.
After all, anyone with enough money can saturate an Oscar broadcast with television spots (which Samsung also did). But to slip seamlessly into the culture without burdening the public with a sales pitch takes a deft and clever hand. Well played, Samsung. Well played.