Home / Journal / Top 5 Marketing Tips Brands Can Learn From The Amazon Drone Announcement

It doesn’t matter if the Amazon Drone Delivery will work in the future or not. It’s a stroke of Marketing/PR genius. Strategically announced last night on 60 Minutes right before Cyber Monday. The keyword “Amazon Drone Delivery” currently shows about 16,600,000 results on Google, “Amazon Prime Air” is a trending topic on Twitter, and the story is being covered by CNN, NPR, Huffington Post, USA Today, TechCrunch, Forbes, Wired, New York Times, Yahoo, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Fox, Al Jazeera, Mashable, LA Times, Engaget, and many many more… 

Let’s break down why this was so effective and how it can work for your brand:

1. It plays on Amazon’s strengths of fast shipping, ease of use, leading-edge technology, and customer service. While people are searching their site today for Cyber Monday deals, this story serves as a reinforcement for why we already like Amazon and shows us how they continue to innovate in those areas. This is perfectly illustrated from my friend Bruce’s response on Facebook when I asked what he thought about their announcement:  “IF there is way to do it, Amazon will figure it out. But I am not sure they need it. Last year, 3 weeks before Christmas I ordered 6 CDs for family members. I ordered on a Wed. morning and had them in my hands at Noon the next day. That was on a FREE two day delivery since I am an Amazon Prime member. Wow. But let them try it, let’s see how it goes!” Focusing on your USP (Unique Selling Propostion) is sales/marketing 101, but this is some Inception type stuff that goes many levels deep. Think about how you can you reinforce your current strengths while making the competition irrelevant by seeding future strengths.

2. They made it look and feel like it’s already real! Even though there are still a lot of technical, logistical, and legal issues that need to be addressed before Amazon Prime Air is a reality, their video takes us on a visual journey from ordering online to the package being loaded into special branded Amazon containers at the distribution center to air delivery right to your doorstep. It works because although it seems futuristic and creates a sense of wonder, it feels like Amazon could actually pull this off right now. Buying is always an emotional decision so instead of creating a 2D mock-up to pitch what your upcoming product or service will do, try telling your story through a 30 second to 1 minute video that evokes those same emotions in your customers.

3. The announcement was made on 60 Minutes which is widely seen as a main street news program. Making the announcement through “techie” channels would still have resulted in a massive amount of coverage, but coming from main street first sends the message that this is easy for everybody not just early adopters. Of course not everybody can get coverage on 60 Minutes, but the point is that this was a very strategic roll out. The obvious media outlets in your industry are obvious for a reason, but it’s important to think several steps ahead to which media outlets they might link from and see if there is a better place to start for your particular message.

4. It creates a soft controversy and gets a lot more people talking. To the portion of the population who view ubiquitous drones as a stepping stone to Orwellian Big Brother monitoring, having a massive company like Amazon releasing that many drones into the wild is scary stuff and ties into current global headlines about military drones, intelligence scandals, and more. The kind of thing they would want to talk to everybody about. Since Amazon Prime Air isn’t available for a few more years at the earliest, this gives Amazon plenty of room to address their concerns. You like the idea see point #1. You don’t like it? Don’t worry it’s not even real yet plus the video shows how safe and practical it will be. Is this a tech. play, a retail play, a national security play, a logistics play, environmental play…? You get the idea and so do journalists and bloggers covering those topics. Is there a way you can leverage current headlines and trending topics for your brand that doesn’t create a hard controversy that needs to be solved right now?

5. Beyond the obvious benefit of this media blitz reminding us all to check out their deals the night before Cyber Monday, making their announcement after all of the crazy Black Friday horror stories, YouTube riot/violence videos, and social media comments are at their peak makes having a robot come to you feel a lot safer and convenient. Kind of like using Amazon Prime right now. It’s classic US vs. Them Psychology, but framed in a way Amazon’s brick and mortar competition can’t touch. If all of your competition is battling to get their message out around a specific event, see if there is a counter-intuitive time to re-frame and release your message that will maximize it’s impact.

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