Update: Ellen and Samsung Stir Up Oscars with Tweeted Selfie

Ellen DeGeneres helped the Oscars take over Twitter on Sunday night, with her selfie taken with several Hollywood celebrities. Overall, there was a 75 percent jump in tweets related to the Oscars since last year. Although Samsung sponsored the Oscars, and spent an estimated $20 million on ads, the company may have gained its largest promotional value from DeGeneres’ pre-planned selfie with Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Lawrence and others.

According to Nielsen, the telecast drew 43 million viewers, its biggest audience in 10 years.

“The 43 million is up 7 percent from last year’s Seth MacFarlane-hosted kudosfest,” reports Broadcasting & Cable. “Among adults 18-49 however, Sunday’s Oscars averaged a 12.9 rating, a slight dip from last year’s 13.0 rating. The show was up among a few younger demographics, rising 1 percent with adults 18-34 and 8 percent among persons 12-17.”

Social media took center stage though, with 1.04 billion Twitter TV impressions about the Oscars. DeGeneres’ star-studded tweet became the most retweeted in history, and even disrupted Twitter’s server for a few minutes.

By Monday afternoon, DeGeneres’ tweet had been retweeted nearly 2.9 million times.

According to Variety: “With the Oscars selfie, ‘the power of Twitter as the perfect companion to TV shone through,’ Andrew Adashek, head of TV creative partnerships for Twitter, wrote in a blog post.”

Samsung, the show’s sponsor, supplied DeGeneres with the Galaxy Note 3 phone to take the photo with, while the photos DeGeneres took backstage were sent via iPhone.

“As part of its sponsorship and ad pact for the Oscars with ABC, the TV network airing the show, Samsung and its media buying firm Starcom MediaVest negotiated to have its Galaxy smartphone integrated into the show,” explains The Wall Street Journal.

During the red carpet pre-show, ABC ran a clip of aspiring filmmakers touring Disney Studios, all outfitted with Samsung devices.

“The origin of the ‘selfie’ shot was a little different,” notes WSJ. “DeGeneres, in the days leading up to the broadcast, decided she wanted to take ‘selfies’ during the show and ABC suggested she use a Samsung since it was a sponsor.”

“According to Facebook, the top social moments during the show were: ’12 Years a Slave’ winning Best Picture; Jared Leto winning Best Supporting Actor and thanking his mom; Matthew McConaughey winning Best Actor; Bette Midler singing ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’; and DeGeneres escorting the pizza-delivery guy into the theater and handing out slices to celebs,” reports Variety.

“On Twitter, the highest-volume Oscar moments were: DeGeneres’ selfie bit, which resulted in 254,644 tweets per minute; the talkshow host delivering pizza to the audience, for 158,159 tweets per minute; and ‘Gravity’ winning its sixth Oscar, for film editing for 135,330 tweets per minute.”