Amazon’s just released two slick new ads to promote their new Kindle Fire HD tablets. You can watch them all on YouTube at youtube.com/kindle — and they provide some interesting glimpses into the way Amazon is planning to sell these new devices — as well as Amazon’s own view of their role in the 21st century.
When I discovered these ads Thursday on YouTube, only 300 people had seen them. But soon Amazon should start broadcasting them on TV during prime-time commercial breaks, where they’ll presumably be seen by millions. So what does Amazon want to tell these people about their new Kindle Fire HD tablets — and about Amazon? Here’s a transcript of the text for their new ad for the Kindle Fire.
“We’re the people with the smile on the box. We’re the re-inventors of normal. We dream of making things that change your life, then disappear into your everyday. Of making the revolutionary routine.
“Our accomplishments are things you barely think about, but can’t imagine not having. Connecting your mouse to your front door was our moon landing. Creating Kindle — our four-minute mile. Customer reviews – our light bulb. And when we build you something new, you can expect everything to change a little more.
“Look around. What once seemed wildly impractical is now completely normal. And ‘normal’ just begs to be messed with.”
There’s some touching footage in the ads of a family receiving an enormous box from Amazon, and another one showing a small box from Amazon — presumably a new Kindle — arriving as just another package in a stack of mail. It shows children touching the screen of a Kindle, and even a woman who’s reading her Kindle while brushing her teeth, all to make the point that now Kindles are becoming part of our lives. And I thought Amazon came up with a great way to tout the fact that you don’t even need a light now to read on one of their new Kindles. They show someone relaxing in a hammock on their deck overlooking the city — enjoying their Kindle outside, at night, without even needing a reading lamp.
But I wondered if, when Amazon created this ad, they were thinking of Steve Jobs. Apple’s legendary “Big Brother” ad in 1984 helped to launch the whole personal computing revolution, and Steve Jobs himself helped write Apple’s inspiring “Think Different” campaign (which showed footage of famous people as the narration explained that “they change things. They invent. They imagine… They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward…”) The grandiose comparisons created an aura of excitement around Apple’s new products, and now that they’re competing directly with the iPad, maybe Amazon’s now trying to claim some of that same gravitas for themselves. They’re basically equating the ability to shop online at Amazon.com with the first time humans walked on the moon!
Both the classic Apple ads and Amazon’s newest ads use “change” as their theme, trying to capture the excitement that a new technology can bring into the world. Interestingly, Amazon has also filmed a shorter version of the same ad that starts with the same first two sentence — “We’re the people with the smile on the box. We’re the re-inventors of normal…” — but then cuts straight to their point. “So when we bring you a new Kindle Fire, you should know that normal is going to change. Again.” Despite the fact that this ad is a full 30 seconds shorter, it still actually lists out more of the specific selling points for Amazon’s newest tablet. (“With an HD screen, HD camera, and dual-speaker Dolby sound, and 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, apps, books and more…”) And I thought the way that they ended this commercial made all of Amazon’s points with just four scrappy words
“Hey normal — take that!”