Oscars' host Ellen Degeneres' star-studded selfie may have generated the most buzz on Twitter and the rest of the Web, but her preference of smartphone has also attracted attention.
As many viewers likely noticed, Samsung played a huge role during the broadcast as one of the awards show's big sponsors (Ad Age breaks down the campaign).
Ellen's selfie, along with several other pictures and tweets published during the Oscars, was through a Samsung device. But backstage, Ellen seemed to return to Samsung's chief rival: Apple and its iPhone.
Although Twitter's Web app doesn't indicate where a tweet originated, services such as TweetDeck highlight the source of a tweet. As several outlets have pointed out, Ellen sent the selfie tweeted around the world and a few other updates using Twitter for Android, the operating system used on Samsung devices. But a handful of other updates, including an image with actor Channing Tatum, originate from Twitter for iPhone.
For Samsung, the tweet was a PR bonanza.
"Samsung's unique product placement, woven into the moment, front and center, without seeming ham-handed, generated the type of positive buzz that is rarely seen and is actually hard to buy," says Ammiel Kamon, EVP of products and marketing for Kontera, a prominent social media data tracker. "Kudos to Ellen for pulling it off."
In a statement, Samsung says the selfie was not a scripted sequence planned for the show, but a spontaneous showing by Ellen. "A great surprise for everyone, she captured something that nobody expected," reads part of Samsung's statement.
Kontera has assembled an instant analysis of the social media response to Samsung's advertising and PR efforts during the Oscars. Among the highlights: Samsung garnered more than 40,000 social mentions throughout the event. But the highlight was the 1.2 million retweets of what the report calls, "the most star-studded selfie ever on a phone" from one of the broadcast's official sponsors.
With that tweet, consumer "consumption" of the Samsung name instantly multiplied 27 times over, with Samsung mentions topping 900 per minute during the stunt, says the analysis. While the actual tweet did not contain a Samsung mention, "the phone and logo were front and center during the taking of the photo, and it will forever be known as the Samsung photo," says the report.
Savvy marketers increasingly are embracing selfies as wildly effective PR tools. At the recent Sundance Film Festival, consumer product giant Unilever's Dove skin products brand sponsored a seven-minute documentary dubbed "Selfie" that depicted how social media is even evolving the definition of beauty. The film, shot by Academy Award winning filmmaker Cynthia Wade, used selfies to show some high school girls — and their mothers — can strongly influence each other's opinions of how they look.
"Our goal was to ignite a conversation and inspire all women to redefine beauty for themselves," says Jennifer Bremner, brand director, Dove. But beyond that, it went viral.
Ellen isn't the first celebrity to have her choice of smartphone questioned. Singer Alicia Keys was called out for tweets sent via iPhone after she had been named Global Creative Director for smartphone maker BlackBerry. As Mashable notes, she blamed the incident on hackers.
This year's Oscars broadcast was a key one for Samsung, which unveiled a new ad campaign showcasing the Galaxy S5, updated Gear smartwatches and the Gear Fit. The devices are expected to launch globally in April.
Meanwhile, it was also a huge night for Twitter, which says there were 14.7 million tweets shared worldwide during the broadcast.