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Samsung spent an estimated $20 million on TV ads to run during the 2014 Academy Awards, but Ellen DeGeneres gave them the best product placement ever.

That’s right, Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar selfie was not spontaneous.

Viewers may have noticed Ellen toying with a white Samsung phone during the broadcast, even before she handed a Galaxy Note 3 to Bradley Cooper.

The actor famously took a “selfie” photo of himself and other stars including Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Lawrence with the host.

While the stunt felt spontaneous, and became the most re-Tweeted photo of all time by a huge margin, it wasn’t entirely unplanned on Ellen’s part.

Samsung and media buying firm Starcom MediaVest negotiated to have its Galaxy smartphone integrated into the telecast, according to insiders.

Samsung gave ABC smartphones to use during the 2014 Academy Awards and was promised its devices would get airtime, people familiar with the Oscars say.

At least one of the product plugs was planned. On the “red carpet” preshow, ABC ran a clip of six aspiring young filmmakers touring Disney Studios.

The group were seen in the video using Samsung devices in that case. The origin of the Ellen Oscar “selfie” shot, meanwhile, was a little different.

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, the idea came somewhat organically. During rehearsals, Samsung executives trained Ellen on how to use the Galaxy 3 Note.

The rest, as they say, is marketing history.

“It was a great plug for the Samsung brand,” said Allen Adamson, managing director at Landor Associates, a branding firm owned by WPP PLC.

“Ellen’s Oscar selfie is going to be more impactful than their commercials. You can’t buy that magic of going viral,” he added, stating the obvious.

It’s still a cute photo, but SIGH.