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Samsung’s Genius Oscars Sponsorship


If you watched the Oscars or even if you didn’t, you most likely know about Samsung’s sponsorship for the program. The phone brand negotiated a genius and incredibly effective sponsorship contract with the 2014 awards show.

The company purchased five minutes of ad time, costing them an estimated $18 million dollars. It was also reported by WSJ that Samsung had 10 large-sized Samsung television sets, 21 tablet computers, and 55 smartphones filling a wall in one of the waiting rooms back stage.

Samsung also negotiated to have it’s phone featured during the show. This meant true face time with this year’s 43 million viewers. To even further help their cause, Ellen decided earlier last week that she wanted to take and tweet selfies and Samsung suggested they use their phone.

This was absolute MARKETING GENIUS. It’s one thing to sponsor an event and put your name on a banner, but it’s another to be THE phone of the event. And even better for them, Samsung’s genius quickly combined with luck.

Samsung caught a huge break when Ellen decided to take a selfie featuring celebrities such as Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey, and more. Then Ellen asked everyone watching to make this the most retweeted selife of all time. She not only accomplished her goal, she destroyed the old record of just under 800,000 retweets. As of this writing her photo has been retweeted over 3.1 MILLION TIMES.


Was this direct exposure for Samsung though? Yes. Even though the phone itself was not in the photos, photos of the selfie being taken quickly circulated that featured the phone, it was shown during the taking of every selfie and the phone was mentioned in hundreds of articles that night and into the next day. And the wonderful thing is that most of the chatter was either neutral or positive! WSJ reports that 23% of the online chatter about Samsung that night was positive and 69% was neutral. Just a small 8% of the complaints were negative. Unfortunately, there were reports that Ellen was seen using her iPhone backstage, but this was a small blip on Samsung’s bright exposure during the Oscars.

Could have Samsung predicted such great exposure from their $18 million sponsorship? Maybe, but it’s hard to say. Lots of brands sponsor lots of events and fail to see such crazy brand chatter during and after the event. For this I commend Samsung and hope that they see a rise in sales as a result of their fantastic marketing efforts.

Until next time,