Amazon joins the ranks of Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and the rest in the battle for Best Smartphone Commercial. Since the release of Amazon’s brand new Fire Phone in June, critics have been attacking the phone for its price (at $199 with contract), while also claiming the phone isn’t as fantastic as Amazon is making it out to be. (RELATED: Amazon’s New Phone Is On Fire)
You can’t build a great new smartphone and expect to compete with the big guys without a really great ad. But Amazon’s TV commercial for the Fire Phone is a little different. Usually, smartphone manufacturers will promote specific features in their product, or poke fun at other smartphones they consider inferior. For example, Samsung’s new commercial “Wall Huggers” attacks the iPhone’s inferior battery life. Amazon takes a different tactic and uses the Fire Phone as a platform to advertise Amazon Prime.
Amazon Prime, probably one of Amazon’s best services, allows millions of customers to buy products for a lower price and get two-day shipping. Prime also allows subscribers to watch movies and download eBooks on Amazon for free. Since 2011, the number of Amazon Prime subscribers has grown exponentially. During the Fire Phone presentation on June 18, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made a point of explaining just how good Prime is and how much customers love it.
“You can fill a bucket with an eyedropper, if the bucket doesn’t leak,” Bezos said during the presentation. “Prime isn’t leaky. If you build a great service for one customer, you can get millions.”
Now it seems Bezos is trying to fill that bucket as quickly as possible, and what better way to advertise Prime than through the Fire Phone? After all, if you buy the Fire Phone you get a full year of Amazon Prime free. Amazon could hardly be any more direct than the title of its new commercial: “Introducing Amazon Fire Phone — Includes One Year of Prime.”
CEI’s Associate Director of Technology Studies Ryan Radia says this kind of underhand advertising is common among big retailers.
“Many argue that Google’s decision to enter the mobile market was not to become a major player for the sake of the cellphone, but to preserve and persist its position in the search market and furthering its initiative as a retailer,” Radia t0ld The Daily Caller. “Amazon’s corporate interest is retail, and many people nowadays buy stuff from their phones, and it’s only sensible for a retailer to invest in mobile to bolster and maintain its enviable position as an online retailer.”
You can decide for yourself by watching the 30-second video below.