Academy Awards host Ellen Degeneres' integration of one of Samsung's latest smart phones into the broadcast during last month's Oscars event resulted in a Twitter selfie that generated a record number of retweets.
In addition, behind-the-scenes reports show the moment was not 100 percent spontaneous since the South Korean smartphone maker of the Galaxy Note 3 paid a hefty price to promote its products during the awards show.
The Twitter post that included Ellen with a number of Hollywood stars is currently the most retweeted post in the social media platform's history with 3.1 million retweets as of last week and counting. It broke the previous record for retweets. In 2012 more than 800,000 people retweeted a post related to U.S. President Barack Obama's reelection for a second term.
The success of Ellen's selfie was the unexpected outcome of a planned multimillion dollar business deal which served the mutual interests of Samsung, Twitter, and U.S. TV network ABC. The broadcast was seen by 43 million people. Some of Hollywood's biggest stars also benefited from the exposure.
It is estimated that Samsung was the Oscars' biggest sponsor, paying more than $20 million for several ads promoting the debut of the newly unveiled smartphone device, the Galaxy S5. The sponsorship package included a series of tweets featuring backstage selfies of celebrities, according to Ad Age.
After the photo went viral, the company announced a $3 million donation to two of Ellen's favorite charities – St. Jude's and the Humane Society. Each charity will receive $1.5 million each.