Commercial Break: Amazon Loves Itself a Bit Too Much   Leave a comment

Broadcast: 5 September 2012
Program: Sunday Night Football (which is, oddly enough, still what NBC calls it when they broadcast it on a Wednesday)
Channel: NBC
Conglomerate: Comcast

Advertiser: Amazon
Owned By: Same
Product: Itself Generally

Most technology ads, whether for Apple, HP, Google or anything else that puts a glowing rectangle at your command, follow a relatively straightforward formula.  With upbeat music and cool imagery, they show you how life affirming their products are, how you can do great and amazing things with their particular line of devices and services, and nevermind that most of them are pretty much the same. 

This ad follows that template to a T.  It’s a collage of people happily getting stuff from Amazon and using their Kindles to help them do ordinary activities (read, play the piano, lounging in a hammock) in ways that make them look cool and sophisticated:

Your Life Isn't As Cool As These

Whether you’re brushing your teeth, sitting around, or writing in a primitive paper notebook: you can do it cooler with our crap.

Since these commercials tend to be celebrations of the wonders of technology more than ads for particular products, they can get a bit carried away with how awesome they think things are.  In this case, Amazon left orbit with its sense of self regard:

Our accomplishments are things you barely think about, but can’t imagine not having.  Connecting your mouse to your front door was our moon landing.  Creating Kindle, our four-minute mile.  Customer reviews, our light bulb.

Whoa, slow down there, sparky.  Customer reviews are light bulbs?  Kindle a once impossible feat of athletics?  And home delivery is the same as landing men on the moon?  Get the fuck out of here. 

Edison Was A Chump

That hideously inefficient incandescent bulb totally deserves 5-stars!

The light bulb literally changed the way we live, shifting our sleep cycle later into the day and allowing people to do stuff regardless of whether or not the sun is up.  People telling you whether or not a book sucked or a pair of sneakers are any good doesn’t quite measure up.

Nice iPad

Amazon: bold new frontiers in watching other people do stuff.

The original four-minute mile was hailed across the world as a tremendous achievement.  The original Kindle got a mediocre three and a half stars from CNET, who called the design “not very elegant”.

One Small Step For Amazon, One Giant Leap For Portable Porn

Many Amazon engineers died to bring you this simulated image.

And as for the moon landing, that was a dream of humanity from time immemorial that cost dozens of lives, billions of dollars and took over a decade.  Delivering stuff that’s ordered remotely has been going since at least the Sears catalog in the 19th century. 

Lord Bezos is supposed to be a bit of an arrogant bastard, but to compare yourself and your company to Thomas Edison, Roger Bannister, and Neil Armstrong in a single sixty-second commercial?  Da-yum.  That’s world class at something, but I wouldn’t call it achievement. 

Posted September 7, 2012 by Charlie Sweatpants in Commercial Break

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