It was a moment made for the celebrity-saturated Internet age. In the middle of the 2014 Oscars, host Ellen DeGeneres waded into the crowd and corralled some of the world’s biggest stars to squeeze in for a selfie. As Bradley Cooper held the phone, Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence and Kevin Spacey, among others, pressed their faces together and mugged. But it was what DeGeneres did next that turned a bit of Hollywood levity into a transformational image. After Cooper took the picture, DeGeneres immediately posted it on Twitter, where it was retweeted over 3 million times, more than any other photo in history.
It was also an enviable advertising coup for Samsung. DeGeneres used the company’s phone for the stunt, and the brand was prominently displayed in the program’s televised “selfie moment.” Samsung has been coy about the extent of the planning, but its public relations firm acknowledged its value could be as high as $1 billion. That would never have been the case were it not for the incredible speed and ease with which images can now spread around the world.
Hear Bradley Cooper talk about his photograph
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