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Social Media News - The Marketing behind ‘That Selfie’


By now, most people would have seen or heard about the social media craze surrounding the ‘selfie’ that Oscar hostess Ellen Degeneres took at the prestigious awards show. The picture which included a host of star names (faces) set a retweet record, but what on the surface looked a spontaneous moment of amateur photography may well have been planned after all.

Source: theindependent.co.uk

It surfaced that Samsung and its partner Starcom MediaVest had secured a deal with Oscars and ABC TV network to include their Galaxy smartphones as part of its sponsorship. This would allow Samsung to show their Galaxy smartphones at various points in the evening, with the ‘selfie’ being the pinnacle of their advertising campaign. It was also reported that Samsung had given products to the organisers during the build-up to the event, and according to the deal, ABC had told Samsung that their products would get airtime. An example of this was them running a short clip that showed six young filmmakers wondering round Disney studios, recording the whole thing on Samsung devices.

The idea surfaced of a ‘selfie’ when the hostess Ellen Degeneres had expressed a desire to take such photos during the show. ABC quickly intervened and suggested that she should use a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 when taking the photos. The advertising campaign was hindered somewhat by pictures emerging of Ellen using an iPhone backstage, so Samsung does not seem to be her first choice when it comes to technology.


Despite this slight hiccup, Samsung was still a huge presence at the Oscars awards show, with the company giving its phones to student presenters and encouraging them to Tweet on the devices. ABC had said that Samsung did not pay specifically for the use of the camera in Ellen DeGeneres’ picture, and during the segment, the company wasn’t named.


Samsung reportedly spent a monstrous 20 million dollars on advertisements that ran during the Oscars broadcast. The biggest promotion they had however was from Ellen DeGeneres during the show, when she handed the oversized device to Bradley Cooper. An estimated 43 million people tuned in to watch a host of star names pick up awards, and in addition to that, the tech giant received attention after the picture went viral.

By Monday morning, the picture had been retweeted 2.8 million times, shattering the previous record of 810,000 for the photo of President Barrack Obama and Michelle Obama hugging after the 2012 election. Twitter even crashed for 20 minutes due to the amount of traffic on the site.

Samsung hit the nail on the head with this marketing campaign, and they also got a bit of luck with the enthusiasm of the celebrities who were willing to get involved in the ‘selfie’. Again this shows the power social media can have when looking to market a product. Samsung took a massive gamble by pouring a huge amount of money into the Academy Awards Show, but it paid off just by a simple picture going viral. The unexpected moments are often the most rewarding in business, but Samsung were aggressive enough in their marketing, and their aggression was rewarded with much success.


Alex is an English Literature and Sociology undergraduate whose love for written word has led him to write about some obscure topics in his time. Currently a content writer at Social Media Frontiers, be sure to follow him @AlexSatSMF.

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Social Media News - The Marketing behind ‘That Selfie’ Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, March 07, 2014 Rating: 5
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