Don’t Kindle the Kindle Ad

Dear Copy Bitch: Yesterday, you pointed out the negative: a holiday ad that doesn’t work (in your opinion). How about showing some holiday cheer and pointing out an ad that does work?

—PJ, Franklin, Mass.

Answer: Didn’t you get the memo that my opinion is the only one that matters? Okay, here’s one that works: The Amazon Kindle holiday ad. The first time I saw this ad, I didn’t know what it was for, but I was drawn in by the whimsical tune and images. By the time I got to the end, I knew exactly what the ad was for–and I remembered it the next time I saw it. And now, I’m like a toddler in front of a TV when that commercial comes on. I’ll stop whatever I’m playing with and watch it. That’s effective.

Why does it work? The images and the tune scream STORY, imagination, endless genres, and all the great things that happen to you when you’re sucked into a good book. You become part of a new world. And for 30 seconds, I get a glimpse of those new worlds, and by the end, the point is clear: I can have access to those worlds fast (“Books in 60 seconds”). Notice that the ad doesn’t tout technology beyond that. A risky gamble on Amazon’s part, when you stop and think about it, but quite brilliant in play. The ad is clever, but it also has what the Garmin ad lacked (yes, in my opinion): clarity.

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