The Internet is still buzzing about Ellen's Samsung Selfie during the Academy Awards.
I remember laughing as I watched it and thinking how smart of a marketing move from Samsung it was to pay for product placement on such a big stage. Ellen's approach to hosting and understanding of social media made it feel more natural than it might have with a different host.
Of course, if you read marketing and advertising sites like I do than you are also seeing all the conversations about how she might have used that phone on camera, but all of her off camera photos were taken and posted with her iPhone.
This shouldn't shock anyone because buying anyone's brand loyalty is almost impossible to do and if you do want to do it the price is extremely expensive.
Recently I was having this conversation over breakfast with several other photographers. We discussed how camera and phone manufacturers send us products to review all the time in the hopes that we'll use their products.
In many cases we might get involved with an influencer program that might involve going to an event or agreeing to use their product on a semi-regular basis.
But, at the end of the day we all agreed that unless there is a signed contract with compensation in place we are going to shoot with whatever we want to.
Looking around my office right now I can see a variety of products. Some I have bought and others have been given to me. On any given day I might use any of them, but the decision is going to be mine.
If I was paid by a brand to only use their products and part of the agreement was that I couldn't use competitors than that would be a very expensive contract for whoever wanted me to sign that.
Of course, it was a product that I already used and loved it would be a completely different conversation.
Humans are going to use the products that they like and know. It really is that simple.
Everything has a price, but brand loyalty might be one of the most expensive things going.