How this Amazon ad makes a big mistake
“You can stream over forty thousand movies and TV episodes…”
“Listen to over a million songs and listen to hundreds of playlists…”
“...and get free two-day shipping on millions of items.”
“Wow, looks like you’ve got a lot to do”
Amazon has been running this TV ad quite a bit during this holiday season. It's nothing new, just their standard, voice-over format. And yet, despite it being only thirty seconds long, they manage to make a copy mistake three times.
I’ve personally sat through countless hours of consumer research and seen results from an untold number of A/B tests. I can say, without any equivocation, that consumers are surprisingly literal in their interpretation of ads.
Simply put, people want to know what's in it for them. Seems straightforward, right?
In the case of this Amazon spot, they’ve made the mistake of thinking that by mentioning large numbers consumers will say “wow”.
One of our early challenges at Netflix was convincing potential subscribers that we had a decent library of DVDs. As an unknown brand we learned, through research, that we needed to mention the number of DVD titles as way to signal legitimacy.
Then Blockbuster entered with a DVD-by-mail service and suddenly an arms race of who has the biggest library was born. Up and up the DVD title count went, 35,000. 50,000. 75,000. All on the assumption that it was a relevant note to hit for potential consumers. Once we hit “Over 100,000 titles” we learned that actual title count wasn’t relevant anymore. In fact, mentioning a gigantic number like that merely made their eyes gloss over.
They simply wanted to know what were the benefits of the service. Sure, at one point it was about library size. But it had shifted. Mentioning library size was now seen as a negative. People’s lives are very busy. Finding something to watch among that many choices now seemed like work.
Here it is 2014 and Amazon has a TV ad that quotes “over forty thousand…”, “over a million…”, and “millions…”. That is a lot for a anyone to digest. In fact, that sounds like a lot of work. Then, as if on cue, the ad offers up “Wow, looks like you’ve got a lot to do”.
So, the takeaway is that if I buy an Amazon Fire HD tablet, I am going to have to take the time to browse through forty thousand viewing options, millions of audio options and millions of products? Yes, Amazon, that certainly does sound like “a lot