LOS ANGELES: Phone manufacturer Samsung spent around $18m on TV advertising during the broadcast of the recent Hollywood's Academy Awards show and gained even more publicity from the host's much retweeted "selfie".

The Wall Street Journal reported that Samsung and Starcom MediaVest, its media buying agency, had arranged with television company ABC for one of its phone models to be deployed in the show.

Host Ellen de Generes was seen with a Samsung Galaxy Note, which was also used to take the "selfie" photo of herself and several other stars which was subsequently retweeted more than three million times.

Samsung later told Techcrunch that while it had an "integration" with ABC, de Generes had "organically" incorporated the device into the unexpected selfie moment.

Her numerous mentions of Twitter also helped boost interactions, as Nielsen SocialGuide reported the number of tweets in the US was up 75% on the previous year's ceremony. Advertising Age noted that this level of chatter would no doubt help Twitter sell its ad-related products.

Allen Adamson, managing director at branding firm Landor Associates, admired Samsung's approach. "Ellen's selfie is going to be more impactful than their commercials," he said. "You can't buy that magic of going viral," he added.

And Brad Adgate, Horizon Media SVP Research, described it as "a social media moment" comparable to Oreo's "dunk in the dark" tweet during the 2013 Super Bowl.

He saw a bright future for product placement opportunities on such nights. "I don't see any reason why, in years ahead, brands can't leverage that and the Academy and ABC can't make money off that," Adgate told Deadline. "There's value there."

In the past Infiniti, the luxury car brand, has successfully leveraged its sponsorship of the Emmys – the TV equivalent of the Oscars. In addition to paid media it generated significant engagement and earned media exposure by providing transport for celebrities to the Emmy launch and Awards ceremony. Sales increased by 97% during a three-month campaign period.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age, Deadline, Techcrunch; additional content by Warc staff