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Samsung and Red Sox' Ortiz trick Obama into selfie ad

It seemed innocent enough. A famous slugger taking a selfie with the president. Now Samsung admits it was the same kind of marketing as Ellen's Oscars selfie.

Nothing like a free endorsement, is there? David Ortiz/Twitter

No one takes a selfie just to take a picture of themselves.

Selfies exist to be displayed and disseminated. They are, in their way, self-regarding as well as selfless.

When Ellen DeGeneres took a selfie with Hollywood stars during the Oscars, she broke the retweet record. President Obama wasn't happy about this. He called it a cheap stunt. This might have had something to do with the fact that he had held the retweet record for quite a while.

You'd think, then, that the president would have been cautious about being cajoled into appearing in such an ad.

Yet, as The Boston Globe has revealed, an apparently spontaneous selfie with Red Sox slugger David Ortiz turned out to be an off-speed pitch by Ortiz himself. And by Samsung.

Yes, there are no boundaries Samsung won't smash down to get famous people in Samsung selfies. Ortiz first posted it to his Twitter account. Soon, though, it received a massive assist from Samsung.

The company promoted the selfie on its own US Twitter feed and it just so happens that Ortiz has signed an endorsement deal with, no, Samsung.

With all appropriate gall, Samsung wrote in its tweet: "Big Papi, Big Selfie. RT @DavidOrtiz What an honor! Thanks for the #selfie, @BarackObama."

You might wonder that this was mere coincidence. Alas, not. Samsung told the Globe that it had "helped" Ortiz take the selfie with his Galaxy Note 3.

The company issued this statement: "When we heard about the visit to the White House, we worked with David and the team on how to share images with fans. We didn't know if or what he would be able to capture using his Note 3 device."

This slightly naked attempt at promotion may, therefore, have something to do with the fact that @BarackObama doesn't seem to have included the selfie on his own Twitter feed.

Marketing: it's a sneaky little breaking ball, isn't it?