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SBD/April 4, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship
White House Objects To Samsung's Commercial Use Of Ortiz-Obama Selfie
Published April 4, 2014
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TRYING TOO HARD: CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla said of the photo, "It sounds like the deal was, ‘All right, Ortiz, go see what you can get. If you get a selfie with the President, we will run with it.’ But I am not certain the President was aware what was going on.” The Wall Street Journal’s Dennis Berman: “The interesting thing is that Samsung pretty much helped Ellen (DeGeneres) plan out her little Oscars selfie. They are one of the biggest spenders overall in all U.S. media for advertising. They are trying every gimmick they can.” CNBC’s Jon Fortt: “This falls under the category of trying too hard. You want to know that famous people, your friends, are using a piece of technology just because it is great, not because they are paid to attack the President, and -- guerrilla marketing-style -- get a selfie. What does a selfie tell me about the quality of the camera? … I think maybe they need to take a different tactic.” Fortt added, “At this point, they are just snapping selfies all over the place and there is diminishing, marginal returns” (“Squawk on the Street,” CNBC, 4/3). Columnist Kevin Blackistone said, "It is a strain of credulity after what Samsung and Ellen DeGeneres did at the Oscars to think that this was not a staged moment. ... We live in America, and they've now commercialized the White House with this thing" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 4/3).
A TIME AND PLACE FOR EVERYTHING: A BOSTON GLOBE editorial states in the "brave new world of viral advertising, Samsung’s quick promotion" with Ortiz "may have been brilliant." But in using the White House and the presidency "as the backdrop for a marketing ploy, it was also incredibly crass." Samsung seems to have "escaped a serious backlash this time, but companies should think twice before using national political institutions for advertising" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/4).