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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

the best selfie ever: Ellen DeGeneres and Bradley Cooper (and celebrity photobombers) at the Oscars

I really do love this photo:


We see a lot of insincerity at events like the Oscars, but everyone in this photo looks like they’re genuinely having a good time.

This isn’t going to do anything to counter the mistaken notion that all celebrities know one another, however.

I recognize Jared Leto (just peeking in from the left), Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ellen, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Cooper, Lupita Nyong’o, and Angelina Jolie. I don’t know who that guy is between Lawrence and Roberts (above Streep), or the guy on the far right with the black glasses. Anyone know?

(ETA: Thanks to commenters and other angles on the scene, it’s clear that the guy at top is Channing Tatum, and the guy at right is Lupita Nyong’o’s brother.)

As seen at @TheEllenShow, and currently at a record-shattering 2,660,822 retweets and 1,355,071 favorites.

posted in:
awards buzz | talent buzz
  • Drave

    That’s Channing Tatum in the back, and Lupita’s brother on the right.

  • JenB

    The guy to Cooper’s left is Lupita’s brother. I recognize him from when she lept up and hugged him when she won-and then gave a shout out to him during her acceptance speech.

  • Jurgan

    “I don’t know who that guy is between Lawrence and Roberts”

    I thought it was Burgerking Cabbagepatch. I know he did a lot of photobombing.

  • Yup, other angles show that’s that definitely Tatum up at the top.

    And how cool for Lupita’s brother? The only nonceleb in the photo!

  • No, it’s Channing Tatum. Though there was another photo of, I think, Ellen and Steve McQueen, that Cumberbatch photobombed, but that one hasn’t shown up yet.

  • How sweet!

  • FunWithHeadlines

    Having a good time? Sure, but they were participating in a Samsung marketing gimmick, for which Samsung paid big bucks.

    They ARE actors, after all. They know how to sell a product and look sincere doing it.

  • Kathy_A

    For me, the best part of Ellen’s stuff was the pizza and the social media, just because it was so genuine. I just hope that the pizza delivery guy got the $200 tip that Harvey Weinstein tossed in Ellen’s hat!

  • Frances

    You mean this one with Ellen and Chiwetel Ejiofor?

    Ben is so precious!

  • That’s the one! Well, from someone else’s camera. Where’s the actual photo from Ellen’s phone?

  • Did anyone say the word “Samsung”? If there’s something special about the device that took Ellen’s photos, we saw no evidence it.

    Pretty poor marketing gimmick. I certainly had no idea what brand her phone is.

  • FunWithHeadlines

    Yeah, it was a visibly Samsung device. During the red carpet, Samsung was all over the branding, they sponsored the show, they paid Ellen to do this commercial during the show. I disliked it at the time for that reason.

    Was amused the next day to see Ellen tweeted backstage with her iPhone instead. I guess sponsor money only gets you to hold their product for the least amount of time required.

  • bronxbee

    i agree… it wasn’t like ellen said, “let me take a selfie with this samsung camera phone.” i had no idea samsung had anything to do with it. and do you think meryl streep and kevin spacey, et al, were approached by samsung to take a picture with ellen? i think i would have enjoyed it anyway, even if i had.

  • Still, those photos could have been taken with any smartphone. It’s not a particularly good gimmick.

  • FunWithHeadlines

    That is true, but it wasn’t taken with any smartphone, it was taken with the sponsor’s product, which is the point of any commercial.

    Why did Ellen switch to her regular phone backstage? Why not take the selfie with that? Because she was paid to use the Samsung and make it visible to one if the largest audiences you can possibly get.

    You and bronxbee didn’t notice it was a Samsung, but I did, and Samsung’s target audience did. The fact that actors sell the situation so well is why it was an effective commercial. The best commercials are the ones you don’t realize are commercials.

  • Except it in no way made me wonder (since I couldn’t see) what sort of phone it was, or make me want to spend money to acquire one. So it has failed as an ad.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Well, for you. :-)

    I mean, yeah, funwithheadlines is being awfully cynical about it (sorry, fwh). And, at its most cynical, the entire Academy Awards is itself one giant marketing gimmick, with a side of mutual masturbation.

    But this was definitely a bit of (vaguely subtle) marketing. That phone in the picture with Ellen, Chiwetel, and Benedict below is distinctive. Not as distinctive to general audiences as an iPhone (because Samsung doesn’t have a equivalent to Apple’s distinctive icon logo), but just as clearly not an iPhone.

    If you’re the kind of consumer who seeks out the same products celebrities use and purchase them for yourself – and this is still a depressingly large demographic – then yeah, you’re gonna want to know what phone she used. I’m sure Samsung’s ad firm had people tweeting the model of phone with in seconds of the pictures being posted, just for those people.

    As for why Ellen would be using a Galaxy while in the audience, but her own iPhone backstage, that’s easy: she was likely handing the Samsung off to a member of the Dolby Theater’s tech crew, or a Samsung rep, after every use, who was then making sure the phone was charged, connected, and running properly for the next use.

  • FunWithHeadlines

    No offense taken, and I realize that by seeing the marketing behind it all, it comes off cynical.

    MaryAnn says because it didn’t make her want to go out and buy a Samsung smartphone, it failed as an ad. No, it worked on her too, but in a different way. She saw what looked like spontaneous fun and expressed her joy in that. In so doing, she helped publicized Samsung’s stunt even more. Their marketers are no doubt happy about that. The ad worked.

    But having made this point a lot, I’m done with this thread. I’m sorry to have hijacked it.

  • So, you are saying that that moment wasn’t spontaneous? That everyone who stuck their head in there and grinned like an idiot was on Samsung’s payroll? That this moment was scripted and prearranged?

    Product placement I do not doubt. But I can’t buy what you’re suggesting. None of them are THAT great as actors. :->

    (You’re not hijacking the thread.)

  • Bluejay

    Also, being paid to do something and having genuine fun with it are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

  • FunWithHeadlines

    That’s not what I said. Ellen was paid. She was told to incorporate the phone into the on-air broadcast. She thought about doing a selfie. Samsung said great, may we suggest using this phone to do it.

    The stars in the photo? Not on Samsung’s payroll. But very much aware of what was about to happen. Oscars are rehearsed, nothing is random.

    And if I, watching at home in real time, could see this was a Samsung commercial, I’m sure these stars figured it out too. One of the key points to marketing is that if you see a product in the picture, you are meant to see it. They knew.

    (Responding because you said this was not hijacking, which I appreciate).

  • We’re just gonna have to disagree about how insidious this was.

    If it makes you feel any better:

    Samsung, who sponsored Sunday’s 86th Academy Awards ceremony, were understandably thrilled at the starring role their device had in the Twitter story of the hour: “We were delighted to see Ellen organically incorporate the device into the selfie moment that had everyone talking.” In response to this publicity coup, the company has pledged to donate $3 million to charity.

    (From The Telegraph.)

    It sounds like they were surprised by the moment, too.

  • FunWithHeadlines

    LOL, that is classic corporate speak! They were not surprised in the least. As the Wall Street Journal reported, they knew exactly what was going to happen, they “encouraged” Ellen to use their product to do it, they had paid a lot of money to ensure their product would be visible.

    Please don’t take PR speak at face value. You who sees through Hollywood’s motives so clearly.

    What else would they say for quotation?

  • I don’t take PR speak at face value. Far from it.

    But I also cannot buy that that moment wasn’t spontaneous. Ellen’s attempts to do those selfies could have fallen badly flat. No one could have planned for this photo or anything like it to have struck such a nerve.

  • FunWithHeadlines

    I’m sure there was some spontaneity involved, yes. Ellen is good at handling such moments, and yes, I’m sure they did have fun doing it. No arguments there.

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