Samsung pays for another celebrity selfie, this time with President Obama


David Ortiz Obama selfie Samsung Note 3

It’s not uncommon for billion dollar companies to pay top dollar for product placement in movies or music videos. Whether it’s the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet in the new Avril Lavigne video, or the HTC One making a cameo in Captain America: The Winter Soldier — by now, we’re all used to it.

But it looks as if we’re seeing a new strategy when it comes to advertising: the selfie. Gone are the days of a famous celebrity simply getting paid to tweet about X product. Now, companies like Samsung are looking for something a little more believable, something more organic. We all remember the viral sensation that was the star studded Academy Awards “selfie.”

The phone forever immortalized in the tweet? None other than the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. And Samsung paid good money too. Upwards of $20 million to partner with the Academy and send product managers to the show and walk the daytime talk show host through the process of taking a selfie with the over sized smartphone.

Making headlines again is another celebrity selfie, this time taken by David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox. And what appeared to be an impromptu #selfie with President Obama was once again, another clever ad by Samsung. They’re getting really good at this.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with the product placement, some are calling the marketing move “shady.” Because the President didn’t know he was technically the subject of yet another viral marketing campaign, some feel it could be seen as dishonest. What’s even more ironic is last month, Obama even teased Ellen over her paid selfie, calling it a “cheap stunt.” If only he knew what he was taking part in.

Samsung Ortiz Obama selfie GIF

So the next time your favorite celebrity takes a totally rad selfie, you have to wonder if Samsung was somehow involved in its making. Still no word on how much Samsung forked over to Ortiz for the Presidential selfie.

[Boston Globe | Image: Washington Post]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Too bad all you see is the AT&T logo. As a Samsung owner I find this tactic pathetic.

    1. Better an AT&T logo than a Verizon

      1. Yep. Although, they now lock their bootloaders like Verizon does, so not as much anymore.

        1. Damn, they do? Pfff… Dat’s lame AT&T.

    2. what’s wrong with advertising

  2. What a cheap stunt, Barack!

  3. Hey, tell him to stop showing up at U of M and making it harder for me to get to my classes too. He had all the traffic stopped because he spoke somewhere at my school today.

    (obligatory “thanks obama”)

    1. Yes, I will be sure to tell him at our next outing. Any other requests?

      1. More cowbell!

        1. Ding, ding, motherfu$&%er! Haha.

          1. Yeah!

  4. How do you know it was a publicity stunt? Last time I checked, selfies had to be done with SOME phone. Did Ortiz say he was hired by Samsung?

    1. If that’s his actual daily phone then I see no problem with it. But if Samsung paid Ortiz to use their device in place of something else he uses then I see no problem with that. Advertising is wrong all of a sudden?

  5. Lol… how dare obama be a real person, and take a personable photo with a fan, specially when this fan is a celeberty! HEATHEN! http://u.to/bKbTBg

  6. As an HTC fanboy, I am disappointed and disgusted by these actions, Samsung.
    As a regular American….. meh

    1. I actually hate the S series phones but see nothing wrong with this scenario whether it was intentional advertising or not.

      1. Obama was the one advertising the phone. He just didn’t know it. That’s what people are saying, and that’s what they’re calling shady.

        Though I don’t think that’s shady, I still think it’s Eminem.

    2. it’s not illegal, and I guarantee you every other executive wishes they had come up with the tactic first.

    3. But it’s okay for HTC to slander Samsung several times over?

  7. I did not mean to click on this story but my thumb slipped. Oh well.

    1. I’m sure you also did not mean to comment, but your face slipped to your keyboard?

      1. Exactly!

      2. Oohh snap!

  8. As “shady” as some may call it, they still got their phone out there.

  9. The Note 3 could have been the phone Ortiz uses on a daily basis. This article is much ado about nothing. Just a lot of speculation. It’s just click bate and I fell for it. ha!

    1. I prefer the phrase “much ado about humping”.

  10. It’s no different then apple giving phones and tablets to tv studios to have them appear on tv shows and movies

    1. and I’m sorry, but that is a friggin great picture quality and all.

  11. maybe they did like apple and gave him a free S5.

    doing that would certainly cost less.

  12. I think it’s just the Xperia tablet Z on Avril’s latest (vid’s not new) video and not the Z2 tablet.

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