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Inside Samsung’s Mission to Find the Next Selfie Moment

What will happen at this year’s American Music Awards?

Ellen DeGeneres’ instantly iconic selfie during this year’s Academy Awards telecast generated 267 million impressions. |

Over the past two years, Samsung has developed a media strategy that capitalizes on unique brand integrations and product placements. In the first part of the interview, we discussed how Samsung’s director of media and partnerships, Amber Mayo has built out a set of unique media integrations for her brand over the past two years. Here, Mayo talks about what's next and how the brand hopes to build on its epic selfie moment with Ellen DeGeneres at this year’s Oscars. Click here to read the first part of the interview.

Adweek: You’ve been doing these media integrations for awhile. Are people less receptive to product placements now?
Mayo: Sometimes people will say, "Oh, that product placement was horrible," and we have nothing to do with that. But I do think that people expect it because the phone is a part of your life. The one thing that we try and do is to make sure that it rings true in the moment for the show.

This is the third year the brand partnered with the American Music Awards. | Photo: Michael Trans/FILMMAGIC

Do you have a favorite media integration?
One is obviously going to be the Ellen selfie. It was just magic. We had all the right elements in all the right places at the right time—it certainly wasn't planned the way it came off. First, she talked about taking a selfie and wanting to break Twitter, and then she showed the phone. Then she came out into the audience and she took the selfie. We knew two of the celebrities who were planned on being in the photo, and then the rest of it just happened.

Now that you’ve done that has the selfie lost its cool factor?
It’s kind of been done and that’s one of the things that we try and do is look for new, different, unique opportunities for integrating, for working with partners and for our devices. If you go back to that well too much, you don’t have any imagination then. You’re capitalizing on a fun moment and beating it into the ground, which then ruins the moment.

Samsung built an app to track NBA star LeBron James that has been downloaded more than 375,000 times.

What is the turnover like in terms of planning each event?
We’re just going constantly. By the time [the Oscars have aired], the Oscars were eight months prior [to me]. The goal hopefully should be that you’re looking for another fun, additive, organic and authentic moment for the brand you’re partnering with and yourself. So in that, there’s no time for sleep.

Is there anything that keeps you up at night?
It’s the "Who’s got next? What’s next?" Once we took away the envelopes on the AMAs and put in a phone to do the award, that’s the most basic, fundamental integration that you can do. Where do you go from there?

Click here to read the first part of the interview and here for a look at some of Samsung's biggest media integrations over the past two years.

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