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Samsung’s Oscars ad puts William H. Macy in a Gear VR

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Samsung always goes big for the Oscars, and this year it kicked things off by filling the show's first ad slot with a flashy commercial packed with celebrities. Over a minute and a half we got moments with Lil Wayne, Wesley Snipes, Doc Rivers, James Harden, and William H. Macy, who enters virtual reality, pretends to present a new phone, and then returns to reality where he's facing a gigantic cake. It's the exact kind of strange you'd expect from Samsung, and I think it was all meant to promote a new phone (namely, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, which were just announced last week.)

For the past several years, Samsung has used the Oscars to make a big push for its phones. It typically runs commercials during the show, and in 2014 had a particularly standout moment when it sponsored a selfie taken on a Galaxy Note 3 by then-host Ellen DeGeneres, which featured a dozen celebrities and quickly became the most retweeted tweet of all time. Samsung can't always expect that prominent of a moment, even with what is certainly an enormous amount of sponsorship money, but it's still trying to keep its phones associated with one of the buzziest events of the year.