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Published: Monday, 3/3/2014

DeGeneres' selfie makes Twitter an Oscar winner with Samsung

BLOOMBERG NEWS
This image released by Ellen DeGeneres shows actors front row from left, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyong’o, Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong’o and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a selfie during the Oscars. The popular posting crashed Twitter for a few minutes on Sunday. This image released by Ellen DeGeneres shows actors front row from left, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyong’o, Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong’o and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a selfie during the Oscars. The popular posting crashed Twitter for a few minutes on Sunday.
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LOS ANGELES — Add Twitter, Samsung Electronics and Coca-Cola to the list of winners at last night’s Oscars ceremony for their product-placement coups.

Twitter, the microblogging site, was flooded with traffic after host Ellen DeGeneres waded into the audience for a photo during the Los Angeles event, telecast on Walt Disney Co.’s ABC.

She gathered up Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Spacey, Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong’o, and handed her Samsung smartphone to Bradley Cooper to take the shot. The impromptu selfie set the record for the most-retweeted post ever and temporarily disrupted Twitter’s service for some users, bringing the microblogging site tons of publicity.

“We crashed and broke Twitter,” DeGeneres said later from the stage. “We made history.”

The awards were dominated by “12 Years a Slave,” which won three Oscars including best picture and best supporting actress for Nyong’o, and “Gravity,” which took home seven statuettes. Leto was recognized for his supporting role in “Dallas Buyers Club.” Brad Pitt, who produced “12 Years a Slave,” was in the picture as well.

The selfie was retweeted almost 2 million times in three hours, crushing the previous record set by President Obama after his re-election in November 2012. His “Four more years” post has been retweeted more than 780,000 times.

“If only Bradley’s arm was longer,” DeGeneres posted. “Best photo ever.”

Coca-Cola also got some publicity when DeGeneres ordered pizza for the show’s attendees. The box, with a logo of the brand printed on the side, was shown on the telecast. Last year’s show reached 40.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen data.

DeGeneres’ use of a Samsung phone for the group photo wasn’t happenstance. Samsung, based in Suwon, South Korea, was a sponsor of the Oscars and used the show to introduce its “One Samsung” campaign highlighting a range of products including the Galaxy Note Pro tablet, the Galaxy S5 phone, the Gear 2 smartwatch and a curved ultra-high-definition TV.

As part of its deal with ABC, Samsung sponsored 10 tweets featuring celebrity selfies taken from the green room and sent by account of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, according to Advertising Age.

ABC last month reached a deal with Twitter’s Amplify, which promotes televised events in real time, becoming the last of the four major networks to sign on, the publication said.

The academy, which organizes the awards, took credit for the Twitter outage.

“Sorry, our bad,” the Academy said on its Twitter account.



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