Was the selfie that 'broke' Twitter a marketing stunt?

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Unless you are a hermit that lives in the woods, there is a pretty good chance you would have seen this picture floating around the internet since this weekend:

Here’s the picture again, from another angle:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice the phone actor Bradley Cooper is holding? That is the brand new Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It is the phone host Ellen Degeneres whipped out a few times during the course of the night. Except when she was backstage, it seems. Here is a picture she tweeted from behind the stage:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice how it says it was tweeted from an iPhone. Degeneres’ personal phone is an iPhone, so what was she doing with a Samsung phone?

Within hours of the Academy Awards, the internet was flooded with the selfie taken byactor Bradley Cooper. The image has been shared over 3 million times – a new record for Twitter. But the internet is also awash with speculation that this elaborate and seemingly spontaneous photography session was a well-placed marketing stunt by Samsung.

Samsung is a major sponsor of the Oscars and does have a marketing tie-up with the principal broadcaster, ABC, although the company has not revealed the details of the deal. Is it that unlikely that they would have used the opportunity to plug their new product?

Samsung has released an official statement, denying the selfie as a marketing stunt. In a statement sent to website Techcrunch, the company claims it was Degeneres who chose to use the phone and take a selfie, and that they were “delighted” by it. As a way of showing their appreciation, Samsung has pledged to donate $1.5 million each to two of Degeneres’ favoured charities: St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the Humane Society.

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