When is a selfie not a selfie? Can a selfie ever be an advertisement? These questions might sound like Zen kōans, but for White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, it’s no theoretical matter.
Earlier this week the 2013 World Series champions, the Boston Red Sox, were invited to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for a ceremonial hand-shaking, butt-slapping and, of course, the inevitable “impromptu” presidential group selfie.
— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) April 1, 2014
Unbeknownst to Mr. Obama, the taker of the selfie, designated hitter David Ortiz, was not just any random baseball athlete—he was (and still is) Samsung Group’s “MLB social media insider.” For this he is paid, probably handsomely, to tweet and post status updates on Samsung’s behalf, using Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3.
This was, if you recall from social media history class, the same phone Ellen DeGeneres used in her “impromptu” group selfie at the Oscars.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
Apparently, Samsung has been buying celebrities left and right to hawk their products in front of mass audiences. David Ortiz’s just happened, with President Obama, to hit the mother lode.
The administration was none too pleased about it. What do you think? What this a product placement stunt or just a fantastic selfie opportunity?