Denny’s Daily Zinger: The DeGenius of Ellen DeGeneres

The tragedy of 9/11 put the brakes on comedy for a while, just like Pearl Harbor must have.
As Emcee of the Oscars that following March, DeGeneres was boffo with her line delivered with delicious insouciance:

What would bug the Taliban more than seeing a gay woman in a suit surrounded by Jews?

As hostess on March 2, DeGeneres and Samsung teamed up to meld entertainment and advertising in a dramatic-and hugely amusing way.

Samsung reportedly paid $20 million to sponsor the Academy Awards show. And throughout the evening DeGeneres fussed with a Samsung smartphone.

Quite late in the evening she traipsed into the audience seemingly ad lib-but in point of fact well-rehearsed-DeGeneres “DeGenerated” a “selfie” using her Samsung smartphone, herself and a bevy of Hollywood luminaries.

The tweet and retweet of this photo I heard caused Twitter to briefly crash.

Guerilla Marketing
In my giant private archive of stories looted from the media I have “Product Placement” file containing 71 examples of this guerilla marketing technique.

Cashing in on product placements, TV shows and space ads get payments for having the protagonist use an Apple computer, drink Pepsi or drive a Lexus.

With Ellen’s delightful manipulation of the Oscar ceremonies, this is the first time I have seen guerilla marketing (product placement) used to enhance paid advertising.
Bloody Brilliant!

Denny Hatch is a copywriter, designer and direct marketing consultant. His new book is Write Everything Right! (opens as a PDF). Click on the title above to see the first 3 chapters. No cost. No risk. No obligation. Reach him at

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

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  • Thomas (Tom) Smith, III

    @Denny Even more brilliant is Ellen’s ability to pull it off. I’ve seen reports that she was the best host(ess) of the Oscar Ceremonies in 20 years and no mentions of "overt marketing" during the show. A "win-win" versus the Super Bowl with a weak game and lame commercials.