I was really proud after identifying which novel Amazon was showing being read in their latest Kindle commercial. (It’s Gone Girl, the best-selling 2012 thriller by Gillian Flynn.) But one of my readers had entirely different question. “I am more interested in who that woman is enjoying the book,” they e-mailed me last week.
“Since you’ve done a search into the book, I’m hoping you can figure it out!”
Here’s your answer: it’s Anna Zielinski, and she used to be a professional cheerleader! For two years she cheered on the San Antonio Spurs, an NBA basketball team, as one of their “Silver Dancers” — until she switched to career in acting. She’s appeared in various episodes of lots of different TV shows — including Bones, Castle, Without a Trace, Lie To Me, and How I Met Your Mother. Ironically, in 2005 she had a small part in Samuel L. Jackson’s movie about a basketball coach — in which appeared as a cheerleader!
Just 12 years ago, she was launching her career by starring in stage plays in Dallas — like Viva Las Vegas with Lou Diamond Phillips, as well as stage productions of Moulin Rouge and Chicago. But she was also getting chosen for some high-profile commercials, touting everything from Burger King to Black Angus and Southwest Airlines. She turned in a great performance as the saleswoman at a Saturn dealership, re-assuring a customer who’s confused by the fact that Saturn also sells sportscars. For a shortcut to that ad on YouTube, point your browser to tinyurl.com/KindlesToSaturn
But now she’s best-known just for reading ebooks. “Anna Zielinski is the face – and body – in some of Amazon’s Kindle ads…” begins a profile in Business Insider. She always appears reading in a bikini — which is usually black — and in her first ad she teased an iPad owner who couldn’t read its screen because of the sunlight. “Poolside Girl in Kindle Ad Plunges a Nation Into Civil War,” joked a headline at CBS Moneywatch, which noted that within two days the ad had racked up nearly 1 million views just on YouTube (after it received a high-profile link from the technology blog Engadget ).
But I’d blame that 2010 controversy on the commercial’s script, which Zielinski delivered perfectly. She gently reminded the poor iPad owner that her own beach-friendly Kindle had only cost her $139.
“I actually paid more for these sunglasses!”