Was the Pres. Obama/David Ortiz WH Twitter “selfie” a Samsung promo stunt?

Posted by: ST on April 2, 2014 at 11:28 am
David Ortiz and President Obama

Image via @DavidOrtiz’s Twitter page.

Via The Hill:

Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz’s selfie with President Obama may have been a promotional stunt as part of the All Star’s recent endorsement deal with cell phone manufacturer Samsung, according to the Boston Globe.

During the championship ceremony Tuesday at the White House, Ortiz presented Obama with a Red Sox jersey and then whipped out his cell phone to take a picture with the president.

“He wants to take a selfie!” Obama said. “It’s the Big Papi selfie.”

The picture was later posted to the slugger’s account, where it had more than 38,000 retweets within 24 hours.

One of those retweets was Samsung’s official account, which also asked Twitter users what kind of camera Ortiz used, highlighting that it was one of the company’s phones.

In a statement, Samsung said that they were “thrilled to see the special, historic moment David Ortiz captured with his Galaxy Note 3 during his White House visit.”

“It was an honor to help him capture such an incredible and genuine moment of joy and excitement. Similar to the selfie Ellen was able to capture during the Oscars, this was an opportunity for David to share the incredible moment with his fans,” the phone manufacturer said.

“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.”

The corporate stunt could raise new questions for the White House about the president’s participation in a social media advertising campaign.

While I don’t think the photo being part of a sponsorship deal with Samsung detracts from the “cool factor” of taking a selfie with the President of the United States (no matter who he or she is, ya gotta admit it’s pretty cool to take a self portrait with the POTUS), in my view it does take a bit of the sheen off the “spontaneous” and “pure” aspect of the picture – which some will now speculate was staged rather than a spur of the moment decision.

In any event, I predict the Ortiz selfie with the President is not going to overtake the Ellen’s multi-celeb selfie record from the Academy Awards in terms of the number of retweets.  As of this writing, Ortiz is just short of 40,000 RTs, while Ellen’s stands at over 3,400,000 and counting.  Interestingly enough, there’s also been speculation that her epic selfie pic was also part of a Samsung promotional stunt.

Go figure!

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