Fiji Water Girl helps earn company over $12 million in ad impressions at the Golden Globes

The biggest winner of the night at the Golden Globe Awards may have been Fiji Water.

Thanks to the unexpected virality of a model hired to hold bottles of Fiji Water on the red carpet, the water company notched a Golden Globes record for earned impressions, according to marketing analytics firm Apex Marketing Group. To create the same level of buzz through traditional advertising, Apex says Fiji would have had to spend more than $12 million on advertising.

“Since this went viral it took the [brand] exposure to a new level not seen in prior Golden Globes,” Apex Marketing Group President Eric Smallwood told Yahoo Finance. “Every table had Fiji, Lindt chocolates and Moët strategically placed during the broadcast, but this was done in prior years as well.”

Rather, it was the photobombing performance of Fiji model Kelleth Cuthbert, who was caught in the background of red carpet photos of stars like Jamie Lee Curtis, Idris Elba and others, that took the internet by storm.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Cuthbert hinted that it may not have been an accident and that she intentionally helped Fiji steal the show.

“It’s all strategic,” the model, who saw her instagram follower count grow by more than 60,000 to cross 120,000 total followers, told the Times. “You’ve got to angle.”

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IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR FIJI WATER - Jamie Lee Curtis at the 76th annual Golden Globe® Awards with FIJI Water on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for FIJI Water/AP Images)
Idris Elba at the 76th annual Golden Globe® Awards with FIJI Water on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for FIJI Water/AP Images)
Lucy Boynton at the 76th annual Golden Globe® Awards with FIJI Water on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for FIJI Water/AP Images)
Richard Madden at the 76th annual Golden Globe® Awards with FIJI Water on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for FIJI Water/AP Images)
Holly Taylor at the 76th annual Golden Globe® Awards with FIJI Water on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for FIJI Water/AP Images)
FIJI Water at the 76th annual Golden Globe® Awards on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for FIJI Water/AP Images)
Amber Heard at the 76th annual Golden Globe® Awards with FIJI Water on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for FIJI Water/AP Images)
Camilla Belle at the 76th annual Golden Globe® Awards with FIJI Water on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for FIJI Water/AP Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Caitriona Balfe attends FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: William H. Macy and Sofia Grace Macy attend FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Susan Geston (L) and Jeff Bridges attend FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Alyssa Milano attends FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Julianne Moore attends FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Taraji P. Henson attends FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Kaley Cuoco attends FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Phil Lord (L) and Christopher Miller attend FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: (L-R) Judith Light and Connie Britton FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Sandy Jacobson (L) and Nina Jacobson attend FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: (L-R) Tony Shalhoub and Marin Hinkle attend FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Mia Swier (L) and Darren Criss attend FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Alison Brie attends FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Heidi Klum (L) and Tom Kaulitz attend FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Tom Kaulitz (L) and Heidi Klum attend FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Terry Crews (R) and Rebecca King-Crews attend FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Amy Adams attends FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Molly Sims attends FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Emmy Rossum attends FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Judy Greer attends FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Lucy Boynton attends FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Cody Fern (L) and Richard Madden attend FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Sabrina Dhowr (L) and Idris Elba attend FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Richard Madden attends FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Camilla Belle attends FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Kiki Layne attends FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Irena Medavoy (L) and Carly Steel attend FIJI Water at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for FIJI Water)
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The angling paid off. In total, across television, radio, digital and social media mentions, Fiji Water earned what Apex calculates would have taken the equivalent of $12,006,579 in paid advertising spend from the start of the Golden Globes last night through 8 a.m. ET.

“They’ve reaped a lot of rewards off this,” Smallwood said.

In a nod to Cuthbert’s fame, even Fiji was getting in on the action with a meta compliment to its new star model in a tweet.

Zack Guzman is a senior writer and on-air reporter covering entrepreneurship, startups, and breaking news at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @zGuz.

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