A Secret Summer Kindle Commercial?

Amazon summer beach resort Kindle ad

I love Amazon’s Kindle commercials. It’s really fun to see how a professional advertising agency captures the fun of owning a Kindle with flashy video clips and exotic music choices. Today I discovered there’s one great Kindle commercial that most people haven’t seen. It’s airing only in England, but you can also watch it online on Amazon’s official channel for Kindle videos!

For a shortcut to the video, point your browser to
tinyurl.com/UKKindleAd

This cheerful ad shows lots of happy people enjoying their Kindle while they’re “on holiday” at the beach. (“Pack your Kindle,” urge the words appearing on-screen at the beginning of the commercial.) Those words appear over the image of a carefully-packed suitcase, but all the other video clips show a fancy summer resort. There’s a woman relaxing by the pool, a tall glass of lemonade, and a room with a view of the beach. But of course, each clip includes a Kindle as part of the fun!

Kindle on beach mattress

“Holds all your holiday books…” read the words next to the glass of lemonade. “Lighter than a paperback…” appears as a man flops onto a bed with his Kindle, with the lovely beach view in the background. Amazon manages to include all the Kindle’s key selling points, while creating a real sense of fun. “Now introducing Kindle Touch…” they add towards the end of the commercial. “Kindle £89 Kindle Touch £109…”

The video appears on Amazon’s official channel for Kindle videos at YouTube.com/Kindle. (On the same page, Amazon’s also webcasting some inspiring interviews with some self-published authors.) Altogether, Amazon’s online Kindle videos have been viewed more than 7,249,265 times. And yet so far, this fun summer ad has racked up less than 11,000 views.

I liked the bouncy song in the background, which adds to the breezy tone of the commercial. The song seems to have just two lyrics — “I love you, baby,” and “Oooh, oooh oooh…” But with some research, I discovered that the complete song is actually a lot darker. “When they fight, they fight. And when they come home at night they say, ‘I love you, baby’…” (It’s by a band called “The Generationals” — and it looks like Amazon’s using yet another new hip band from Louisiana for its Kindle ads….)

It’s not just the perfect song for a Kindle ad. The exact same song was used in a commercial for Bloomingdales, according to the band’s page on Wikipedia. The song’s swinging trumpet and bouncing bassline gives it a groovy ’60s sound — towards the beginning, there’s even a playful “wolf whistle.” But the effect seems to be ironic, since the song is actually chronicling the end of relationship

“He got the message she left on his car, in the rain…. And when it all comes crashing down, what can you do, to find what you’re looking for? And then the words will come to you, driving through the rain. But there’ll be no one there to say them to anyway….”


But at least some couples are still enjoying a lovely holiday together at the beach this summer — at least, judging by Amazon’s Kindle ad.

Kindle in bathing suit back pocket beach ad

Funny Stories About That Woman in Amazon’s Newest Kindle Commercial

Amy Rutberg, the blonde girl actress in the Kindle commercial

I just got a message from the woman in Amazon’s Kindle commercial! I’d told her that I finally saw her third Kindle commercial for the first time on Friday night – and it almost made me want to buy a second Kindle! She wrote back, “happy to hear that, and next time buy that second kindle.

“You can keep it in your other pocket!”

It all started with a simple question. “Who’s that woman in Amazon’s newest Kindle commercial?” I’ve been asked this a few times, so I finally searched the web for an answer. The name of “that blonde woman” is Amy Rutberg, and it turns out there’s some surprising and funny stories online about her life before the Kindle ad.

Plus as far as I can tell, in real life she’s already using a Kindle!

On March 18th — before Amazon’s first ad even aired — Amy mentioned her Kindle in a status update on Twitter. (“It’s so nice outside, taking my kindle and playing hooky! Will return from my staycation by 7:30. #nicetobeanactress #springfever”) More than a month later, on April 25th, she tweeted nervously while waiting for the broadcast of that first Kindle commercial. “1st person to let me know what channel they see it on wins a prize…not a knidle sadly…”

Amy is 29 years old, a professional actress who recently moved back to Los Angeles from New York. (And two weeks from this Wednesday, she’s leaving on her honeymoon in Rome!) She may seem a bit ditzy on that Kindle ad, but in real life, she’s surprisingly intelligent. Amy actually started college at the age of 13, according to one online profile, and by the age of 15 she’d transferred to UCLA as a junior, making her one of the youngest students ever accepted to the college!

“When not performing on stage I can be found playing poker, not finishing a screenplay, shopping for the perfect pair of boots or reading my Kindle ;-)” she jokes on her Twitter feed. But when that famous Kindle ad finally aired, her mother stumbled across a blog post where her daughter was described as “hot but 2 skinny”. According to another funny Twitter update, Amy remembers that her mother said “they must have u mistaken 4 tmobile girl”. Amy then added a very special Twitter tag at the end of her post — #thanksmom.

Amy was a little ditzy when she was a little girl back in the early 1980s — at least according to a funny profile in the Los Angeles Times. They remember that “At 3, she said, she had to be carried away screaming after a production of ‘Peter Pan’ because she was certain Peter would be back to fly her to Neverland.” At the age of 16, she was cast as Eliza Doolittle in a production of “My Fair Lady” at L.A.’s prestigious Pacific Coast Civic Light Opera. But at the age of 6, “she directed her classmates in playground vignettes and broke an ankle while ‘flying,’ Pan-like, from a second-story landing…”

If you’d like to see more of “that Kindle girl’s” work, you can check out her professional blog at amyrutberg.com, which features a “reel” of short clips from her appearances on different TV shows. Last year Amy appeared on an episode of “Law and Order,” and she did another episode just two years earlier (plus an episode of “Law and Order: Criminal Intent”.) In 2006 she played a nurse on an episode of “As The World Turns”, and she even starred in an episode of the TLC reality show about shopping for a wedding gown — “Say Yes to the Dress”.

But she’s been doing lots of live theatre, so Amazon’s TV ad was a big moment. Amy’s Twitter feed captures a fun moment in the life of a rising actress — seeing you’re own work while you’re casually watching TV. “Kindle commercial on @snl… Love it!” she tweeted on April 30th). And by May 13th, she’d sent a shout-out to some friends on Twitter who’d spotted her in the ad. “Thanks for all the kindle love peeps!

“Proud 2 b peddling it!”

Reactions to Amazon’s Newest Ad for the Kindle

Amazon's new Friends Kindle TV commercial with 3500 books

How much has Amazon spent on TV ads for the Kindle? Just last year, they spent over $82 million, according to an article in Ad Week magazine. That’s more than four times what they’d spent the year before — just $19 million, according to the magazine. And Amazon’s apparently spending plenty of money in 2011, too, since I just saw the third ad in that series where two friends discover the advantages of owning a Kindle — a young woman and a young man.

“That is a giant purse.”

“This can hold two books, two newspapers, three magazines. Pretty great, huh?”

“Yeah. My Kindle holds up to 3,500 books. (Stacks of book begin appearing.) Magazines, newspapers — and it only weighs eight and a half ounces.”

“Yeah, but… Then I wouldn’t get to carry my giant purse. (He looks at her dubiously.) Can I see that?”

“Yeah.”

“Wow!”

“Yeah…”

You can watch the new ad, plus all of Amazon’s other Kindle ads, at the Kindle’s page on YouTube (at youtube.com/Kindle ). It’s a funny ad — but it’s even funnier if you read the comments that people have left below the video!

“I guess the Kindle gave up on competing with the IPad, and decided to take on purses.”

Another viewer was skeptical of the ad — but for an entirely different reason. (“I’m asking myself if that’s actually 3.500 books that they put up there…”) And several commenters had apparently located Amazon’s Kindle video just to ask questions about its production. “YO KINDLE,” posted one user, “Every single one of your ‘Friends’ ads has the same song as well as the ‘Pool’ ad. And on every single video, you’ve got tons of people dying to know the name of the song. Just tell us already!!!”

I’m assuming it’s original song — played on a xylophone — that was written just for Amazon’s Kindle ad. But at least three other commenters had an even more burning question.

“PLEASE tell me who that josh duhamel look alike is.”

“I don’t like eReaders, but what I’m more focused on is that dude.”

“I have such a crush on that guy ;)”

At least one comment was directed towards the other actor. (“i want a kindle because she’s hot…”) But overall, it’s a fun collection of different reactions to Amazon’s ad. Of course, not every one of them was positive. (“So last-year. And Apple-ish. But good. Shame….”) And another viewer also detected the resemblance to the “I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” ads — posting “Nice homage to the old Apple ads.”

But his bigger issue was just more of a general suggestion for the publishing industry. When you buy a printed book, he argued, the publisher should bundle the ebook with it — for example, with a “download code” that you could enter to activate the complimentary digital version on your Kindle!

And yet there was at least one commenter who made it clear that they absolutely loved their Kindle. After watching Amazon’s ad, they’d asked one simple question. “How many times does he have to tell her how AWESOME a Kindle is before she finally gets one for herself !!?!!”

“I have the Kindle app for my phone and it is 10x better than the Nook app. I’ll read books on my break at work and just buy a new one when I’m finished with the last one, instaed of having to wait until I get home to pick out a new book.

“LOVE IT !!!!”

Funny Reactions to Amazon’s Newest Kindle Commercial

Girl and Boy from new Kindle bookstore commercial

It’s one of the fun things about being a Kindle owner: recognizing yourself in Amazon’s Kindle commercials! Last week Amazon released a funny sequel to their commercial about the young woman who doesn’t have a Kindle (while her male friend does). In this commercial, she’s seen rushing off to a bookstore…

“Hey, where you going?”

“I want to get a book that came out today.”

“Me too!”

“Come to the bookstore with me.”

“I’m good. Got it! It takes less than 60 seconds to download a new book on my Kindle…”

“60 sconds? Wow. That’s the book I was going to get!”
           [She stares with delight]

“Weren’t you going to the bookstore?”

“Shh….”

And this commercial struck a familiar cord with a couple in Scotland – at least according to the comment that the husband left on Facebook. “We used to have a Kindle,” he posted in the comments below the video. “Then my wife started using it. Now SHE has a Kindle!” I had to smile, because I experienced the same thing with my own girlfriend. I finally had to buy her a Kindle of her own.

The couple in the video also drew a positive reaction on YouTube, at YouTube.com/Kindle, where one user posted that “These two have great chemistry.” Their verdict on Amazon’s new Kindle commercial? “Even cuter than the last one.”

I first found out about the video from the Kindle’s page on Facebook (at Facebook.com/Kindle). And the page also offered a handy tip if you want the notes in your Kindle e-books to include notes from your friends on Facebook! “When you link your Facebook account to kindle.amazon.com you can see the Public Notes of your Facebook friends in your Kindle books,” Amazon explains, adding that you can also “automatically share your reading activity on your [Facebook] Wall.”

Of course, you’ll never see those notes until you get your Kindle back from that woman who borrows it on her way to the bookstore!

Exciting New Kindle TV Ads!

Screenshot from new Amazon Kindle TV ad - The Book Lives On

This is pretty exciting. Amazon just released a new ad for the Kindle — and this one’s in a radically new style! According to YouTube, the ad’s video has been viewed less than 2,000 times, so this is your chance to be one of the first people to see it. To view the ad, point your PC’s web browser to YouTube.com/Kindle.

The ad’s official title is “The Book Lives On,” and it’s clearly aimed at younger audiences. The ad shows young people enjoying their Kindles — in a coffee shop, on the grass, while lying outdoors in the city, or jogging past a lake. It only shows the new graphite-colored Kindle — not the older white ones — and it features a much edgier song by a band called “The New Pornographers”. (They’re a hip, indie band from Canada, and the song — “Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk” — is from their newest album, which was just released last May.)

I had to laugh. A technology blog had cheered Amazon’s previous television ad by saying that Amazon “is done with the silly flame war. The latest Kindle ads make no mention of the iPad or any competitor really. Instead, they simply show off the Kindle‚Äôs two main selling points – portability and content.” That truce is apparently over, since even in this 30-second montage, Amazon includes several scenes showing that the iPad owner isn’t able to read in bright sunlight — while the Kindle owners can. (“No glare,” Amazon flashes on the screen. “Easy to read in bright sunlight…”) The other selling points are that the Kindle holds
800,000 books, is lighter than a paperback, and has a battery life of up to a month. “The book lives on…” the ad concludes.

By saying “the book lives on,” Amazon seems to be trying to give a positive spin to the worry that digital readers will kill the book. The song’s enthusiastic rock pulse, with its steady electric guitars in the background, suggests excitement and optimism. You could read the ad as a manifesto, announcing that the next generation will continue reading — but they’ll do it using Kindles. But take a closer look, and it looks more like Amazon is really trying to advertise a revolution that hasn’t happened yet.

In November a survey found that the Kindle was least popular among young people. Between the ages of 25 to 34, just 5.8% of the people surveyed had said the owned a Kindle — and just 6.5% of the people between the ages of 18 and 34. (For the 35-44 range, Kindle ownership was at 8.5%, and at 8.3% for the next age range of 45-54 years old.) Surprisingly, the highest percentage of Kindle ownership was people over the age of 65 — at 9.6% — as well as people under the age of 18, at 11.1%. Maybe young people have less disposable cash for an ebook-reader — or they’re more interested in color/touch screens. But whatever the reason, Amazon is clearly trying to address that “enthusiasm” gap with this ad.

But it’s always fascinating to study Amazon’s ad campaigns, and watch them trying to capture the mystique of the Kindle. Once I got to YouTube, I even began watching other Kindle ads that I hadn’t seen yet. There’s one where a little boy tells his grandma what book he wants for a Christmas gift. (“Mayan temples. Or race cars. Or spelunking… Or martians. Or any kind of alien, really…”) And there was another ad for Christmas in the same style as Amazon’s first ads — including a new soft piano-and-vocal song by Little & Ashley, this time with sleighbells. (“Snowflake in my pocket, let’s take a sleigh ride on the ice…”) It’s the same young blonde woman in this ad, but this time the stop-motion animation shows her wearing parkas with her boyfriend, fishing by an igloo, and then dressed us as a ballerina (while her boyfriend is the soldier from the Nutcracker ballet).

Of course, it’s possible to read too much into the commercials. I’ve been a fan for 11 years of the band that did the song in Amazon’s current ad, “The New Pornographers.” But I’ve never been sure what their lyrics are about — and this latest song is no exception. The lyrics from the song snippet that Amazon selected also apply nicely to the Kindle. (“Silhouette, tell me a tall tale, go. Shout it out… Sweet talk, sweet talk…”)

But the rest of the song — well, not so much!


A mistake on the part of nature,
You’re so fair and so fey that you’ll sit anywhere.
I’ve pencil sketched the scene.
It’s feeling Byzantine.

Mistakes on the part of nature,
The living proof of what they’re calling love,
On certain sideway streets
Where things that don’t match meet.

A mistake on the part of nature,
You are a tall glass, a blast from the past.
Yeah, things were simpler then.
You ask exactly when.

A mistake on the part of nature.
It’s forgiven. Move on.
Won’t wear my Sunday suit to walk that street.
That would feel Byzantine.

Silhouette, tell me a tall tale, go,
Shout it out.
Silhouette, shout it from the top,
Sweet talk, sweet talk.
Your sweet talk, sweet talk.

Amnesia becomes ambition.
Ambition becomes a new sort of
Charming simplicity,
Like always, Byzantine.

A mistake on the part of nature.
It’s forgiven. Move on.
Won’t wear my Sunday suit to walk that street.
That would feel Byzantine.

Silhouette, tell me a tall tale, go
Shout it out.
Silhouette, shout it from the top.
Sweet talk, sweet talk.
Your sweet talk, sweet talk…

Silhouette, tell me a tall tale, go
Shout it out.
Silhouette, shout it from the top.
Sweet talk, sweet talk
Your sweet talk, sweet talk.