Samsung uses Obama for ‘selfie’ promotion

To be noticed online today, it is essential that companies take a unique approach, whether with tailored news feeds or by doing something that makes them stand out. Hitting this last point perfectly a few days ago was Samsung.

While meeting US President Barack Obama last week, a player for the Boston Red Sox, David Ortiz, was quick to have his photo taken with the country’s first black leader. Explaining that it was not a daily occurrence, Ortiz said that it was only a last minute decision to take the snap on his phone.

A short time later, the player’s selfie had been posted to his Twitter account. This was then re-tweeted by over 40,000 of Ortiz’s followers.

Shortly after this, Samsung, showcasing the baseball player’s use of its Galaxy 4 model to its own 5.2m followers, re-tweeted the posting once again. Many of the re-tweeters then went on to share the image themselves.

Any marketer will admit that this was a brilliant piece of manoeuvring by the phone maker. However, from a publicity viewpoint, the result continued to get better for the South Korean brand when the White House came out and criticised the tweet.

Saying that lawyers were advising about the issue, government spokesman Jay Carney said:

“Without getting into counsel’s discussions, I can tell you that as a rule, the White House objects to attempts to use the president’s likeness for commercial purposes, and we certainly object in this case.”

With more traction provided for Samsung by the White House response, Ortiz later denied allegations that he had been paid by the company to take the snap.

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