Kindle ads I’d like to see #1
I love my Kindle, but I don’t love the advertising.
Oh, I liked the first ad…the one that won the contest with the stop motion:
It was charming, and I liked the song. The ad didn’t tell you much about the device…that’s kind of a negative. The ad was about reading, really. That was good..it equated the Kindle with the imaginative journey of literature.
The second commercial just didn’t catch me as much.
It was really just one story…the first one showed the variety, this one didn’t.
The third commercial:
brought back some variety. Still, it didn’t tell us anything new. It didn’t do the imagination thing as well as the first one…it felt like a bit of a retread.
I did like the fourth ad, the one with two people on the beach. It still didn’t show us much: it pointed out the ability to read in bright light. I liked that it was two people who knew each other…suggesting the multiple Kindle household.
Then, there was the (in)famous pool ad:
I didn’t like that one at all, although it got a lot of coverage. I didn’t like the character of the Kindle owner (seemed too snarky), and I didn’t like that it was essentially an attack ad (on the iPad). I want to like the people who have the products I’m supposed to want in an ad…I wouldn’t hang out with this person. The beach ad had shown the bright light legibility of the Kindle without making iPad owners look stupid.
The Kindle park ad
was nice and simple, and did what a lot of ads do…they sell serenity. That’s something people want…quiet, relaxed time. I remember becoming aware of that with a truck ad. Those used to show the trucks flying over obstacles, hauling big loads, that kind of thing. I think the ad showed the truck on top of a mountain…not moving. The driver was kicked back, I think outside the truck, just relaxing. “Buy our truck, stopping thinking about work for a while.” That’s a good take for the Kindle…but the ad still doesn’t show you any of the features. I also thought it was a tad odd that the actor (also, as in the previous ads, a “young beautiful” person) was in the park…but they promoted the $139 price at the end. Of course, you can read in the park after you download at home or at a wi-fi hotspot, but it’s the 3G model that has an advantage in the park. Still, I can understand them using the lower price.
The first Kindle holiday ad
was nice. At last people outside the twenty-something demographic. It showed a kid getting a Kindle, and went back to showing us the wide range of reading possibilities. Nothing about what the Kindle does, though, outside of reading. I wonder if they are worried about complicating the device in the ads?
The second Kindle holiday ad
was most memorable for many people for the dog licking the device. What did it tell us? Kindles can go everywhere with you. That’s a good message. I wasn’t crazy about them showing somebody putting a Kindle in a back pocket, though…sit down with that, and the Kindle is toast. Still nothing about what makes the Kindle better than a paperbook (it’s better in some ways, worse in others).
The third Kindle holiday ad
was back to Annie Little and the stop motion. It was okay…I don’t remember seeing it much, though. I notice at the end that it lists the price in pounds…maybe it was shown more in the UK?
There were two versions of the “What if you switch?” ad:
It did show the reading apps, which is important. It’s good for people to know that they still have access to their books, even if they stopped using a Kindle. They acknowledged the iPhone: good move. However, we continue to be in the Logan’s Run world: apparently, after you turn thirty*, you are eliminated from the Kindle advertising universe. Just kidding, there was a person older than that in the first holiday ad, but they certainly seem to be trying to show it as young and hip.
In the Our New Amazon Kindle ad
they are young active people. I practically expected to see Levi Meeuwenberg run up a wall, flip off a building, and do a complete parkour routine…while reading Justin Halpern. It gave us a bit more information (like the battery life), and showed a kindler, gentler put down of iPad users. That was an improvement, but we get it…the people on Friend would have used Kindles…the people on The Golden Girls…don’t exist.
The latest ad
has that I’m a Mac/I’m a PC feel. It was a cute ad, and did point out another feature (automatic bookmarking). It did seem to ridicule paperbook readers, a bit: “You know why you don’t have a Kindle? You’re ignorant.” Ignorant doesn’t mean stupid, it just means you don’t know something. The relationship between the two people was friendly, and that’s good.
I’d still like to see Kindle ads that actually show what makes the Kindle better than just reading a paperbook. When people ask me about my Kindle on the street, they often don’t know about the increasing text size, or the dictionary, or text-to-speech. They don’t know you can highlight and add notes.
Here are a couple of ideas for Kindle ads, and my new suggested slogan. That new slogan: “You. Reading.” I want to make it appeal to the viewer personally. I want the slogan to say that it enhances your life…whether you are a heavy reader or a casual reader…whether you are ten years old or one hundred.
Again, to be clear, I’m just making these up:
Kindle: Living Large
Three people who know each other well (friends or siblings) come into a room. There is a low table with three books on it. Behind it is a couch. There is also a funky “tree” on it with three pairs of distinctly different glasses. They each pick up their glasses from the tree one at a time, and sit on the couch next to each other to read. There is some competition for the best sitting spot…getting there faster is better. We see this repeated a few times in jump cuts, with one person always last. One last time, we see the two faster people take their glasses…but the third pair stays on the tree. We/they look to the couch. The slower person is already in the best seat…with a Kindle. We see that person adjust the text size. The other two sit down, and peer over the edge of their books at the Kindle, jealous…
Kindle: Extra Bag Fee
A person is packing for a trip, apparently on an adventure in a remote area. She or he is stuffing a carry-on with books and magazines. It’s hard to do. The packer finishes, balances that carry-on with another couple of bags, and yells out: “Whew! Are you ready? It’s time to go.” We see another person sitting in a chair calmly reading a Kindle. The second person says calmly, “Ready,” puts the Kindle to sleep, and slips it in a pocket. Smiling, the second person takes the handle of her or his rolling suitcase, the other person comes in struggling. The Kindleer says, “Need any help?”
A Kindle owner wakes up, grabs a Kindle from the nightstand, and starts reading. We see the Kindle owner brushing his or her teeth, reading (it’s a quick shot). Running out to the car, plugging the Kindle into the sound system, and the book is reading out loud. Gets out of the car, runs to catch a bus..keeps sight-reading. At work, puts the Kindle in a drawer. Goes to lunch…realizes he or she doesn’t have the Kindle. Pulls out a phone…starts reading on the Kindle app.
Kindle: Family, Part 1
Two people in a room, each with Kindles.
Person A: “Hey, I see the next book in the series is out…okay if I buy it?”
Person B: “I already bought it.”
Person A: “Oh, can I read it when you finish?”
Person B: “You can read it right now.”
Person A: “That’s okay…I know you’ve been waiting for it, too.”
Person B: “We can both read it at the same time.”
Person A: “I don’t want to buy two copies…”
Person B: “We don’t have to. We’re on the same account: we can both read it at the same time and only pay for it once.”
Person A: “Really?!”
Person B: “Really.”
Kindle: Family, Part 2
It’s the same two people as the last commercial.
Person B: “Where are you in the book?”
Person A: “Chapter 3.”
Person B: “I’m on Chapter 4.”
Person A: “Hm.”
Person A: “Where are you now?”
Person B: “Chapter 7.”
Person A: “Eight.”
A tween child walks into the room where the two adults are reading.
Person B: “Just a second, honey. Done!” Person B smirks over to person A. “What’s up?”
Child: “A couple of friends of mine were reading that book. I was wondering what you thought about the ending.”
Person B: “I don’t want to spoil it for you…you might want to read it some day.”
Child (pulls out a SmartPhone with the Kindle app showing): “I finished it yesterday.”
We are at an office retirement party. They are celebrating the retiree. S/he’s given a gift and opens it…it’s a Kindle.
We see the retiree settled in at home. S/he wakes up the Kindle…it opens to War and Peace.
“Okay, Mr. Tolstoy…this time for sure.”
We see the retiree start to read (we might have to skip the first paragraph for the sake of the commercial). S/he mutters: “What’s the grippe?”
We see the Kindle again as the definition comes up.
“That’s not going to stop me this time, Leo…bring it on!” S/he continues reading…chuckling in triumph.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.