Samsung hooks unsuspecting Obama as phone ad star

Apr 2 2014, 5:38pm CDT | by

NEW YORK (AP) — The latest pitchman in Samsung's marketing machine: an unwitting President Barack Obama.

Boston Sox baseball player David Ortiz snapped a selfie with the president at a White House event using a Samsung phone and tweeted it to his followers Tuesday. It was resent by tens of thousands of Twitter users, and Samsung retweeted the photo as an ad. The company also said in a tweet that the photo was taken with a Samsung phone.

The White House press secretary said Wednesday that Obama was not aware of the marketing stunt. Ortiz's agent did not respond to questions.

Remind anyone of Ellen DeGeneres' celebrity-happy selfie from the Oscars? That was also taken with a Samsung phone and retweeted millions of times.

Samsung, the world's largest maker of smartphones, is making a name for itself as an aggressive, off-beat marketer. The company used its outsized ad budget to poke fun at its top rival, iPhone maker Apple, as well as people who purchase Apple products. It was also an Oscars sponsor and has a deal with Ortiz.

In its latest fiscal year, Samsung spent roughly $4 billion on advertising, about four times as much as Apple. Although Samsung makes TVs, refrigerators and other products, analysts believe much of the marketing is for newer products such as phones.

Samsung splashed the Oscars ceremony with phones and encouraged student presenters to post photos taken with the gadgets.

As for Ortiz, Samsung was tight-lipped on the nature of its relationship with him. But the baseball player told the Boston Globe Wednesday that he signed a deal with Samsung a few months ago and the company gives him "phones and other stuff."

The Obama selfie "wasn't anything on purpose," Ortiz told the Globe. "I would say I went along just like everyone else taking pictures and posted."

__

AP reporters Julie Pace and Barbara Ortutay contributed to this report.

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Associated Press</a>
The Associated Press (AP) is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Facebook Announces Messenger Platform and Businesses on Messenger
Facebook Announces Messenger Platform and Businesses on Messenger
Facebook launches two initiatives to bolster its Messenger app.
 
 
Apple Reportedly Working with Foxconn to Launch iPhone Trade-in Program in China
Apple Reportedly Working with Foxconn to Launch iPhone Trade-in Program in China
The move will solidify Apple’s business in China.
 
 
Steve Jobs Was a Tough Character, Says Bill Gates
Steve Jobs Was a Tough Character, Says Bill Gates
Bill Gates: Steve Jobs was a tough character, but he didn't direct his anger at me too often.
 
 
Amazon Prime Music Updated with Stations on iOS
Amazon Prime Music Updated with Stations on iOS
Amazon Prime Music on iOS gets smarter and better with Prime Stations. That means Apple users can stream songs with unlimited skips and without ads.