In his visit to the White House on Tuesday, David Ortiz walked up to the podium and snapped a seemingly candid photo with host President Barack Obama, who feted the Boston Red Sox for their 2013 World Series title.
— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) April 1, 2014
The slugger posted the photo to Twitter, where it has gotten over 39,000 retweets. It also made the rounds on ESPN and the morning newscasts. White House aides who adore the team attended the event bearing Red Sox hats. Fun was had by all.
Except the candid moment was nothing more than a stunt by Samsung, the maker of Ortiz’s phone. The Boston Globe confirmed Tuesday night that Ortiz had signed a new deal with the Korean company “to become a social media insider.”
Not even the President was in on it. “He did not know,” Jay Carney told Boston Globe.
Samsung issued a statement saying they were “thrilled” that this “historic moment” was captured by one of their phones.
“We were thrilled to see the special, historic moment David Ortiz captured with his Galaxy Note 3 during his White House visit,” the company said in a statement. “It was an honor to help him capture such an incredible and genuine moment of joy and excitement. Similar to the selfie Ellen was able to capture during the Oscars, this was an opportunity for David to share the incredible moment with his fans.
“When we heard about the visit to the White House, we worked with David and the team on how to share images with fans. We didn’t know if or what he would be able to capture using his Note 3 device.”
Obama himself knocked Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres earlier this year for besting his Twitter record with a star-studded cast of Hollywood stars. That “cheap stunt,” as the president jokingly called it, was another Samsung marketing ploy.
This post has been updated.