We are at the end of the awards season, with various ceremonies having taken place and the resultant fallout hitting the press the following day! But it reminded us of last year’s Oscars, where Ellen de Generes took what has subsequently been described as “the most epic selfie in the history of the word epic — and in the history of selfies”!

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Ellen, who was hosting the 86th Academy Awards on March 2nd 2014, managed to gather twelve celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, Angelina Jolie, Bradley Cooper, Kevin Spacey, Jared Leto, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Lupita Nyong’o and Brad Pitt for a selfie picture.

Within forty minutes it had broken the previous retweet record – Barack Obama’s victory in the 2012 presidential election – and was in fact retweeted over 1.8 million times in the first hour! By the end of the ceremony it had been retweeted over 2 million times and by the end of 2014 it was the most-retweeted post this year with more than 3.3 million retweets.

What is perhaps less well known is the impact that the epic selfie had on the phone brand that Ellen used to take it! The selfie was taken on Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and tweeted from the stage, providing a wonderful social marketing opportunity for Samsung! Debate raged on Twitter as to whether this was a pre-planned marketing stunt. Certainly as part of its sponsorship for the Oscars, Samsung did negotiate to have its Galaxy smartphone integrated into the show, and was promised its devices would get airtime. There are even suggestions that during rehearsals Samsung executives trained Ellen on how to use the Samsung Galaxy.

Product placement is a great technique to use in digital marketing! Whatever the truth behind Ellen’s selfie, it was a great plug for the Samsung brand. According to Allen Adamson, managing director of branding firm Landor Associates: ”Ellen’s selfie is going to be more impactful than their commercials. You can’t buy that magic of going viral.”