Amazon Puts Theatrics Into Selling

Nov 10, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson previewed its newest selling tool yesterday, Amazon Theater, with an exclusive short film, Portrait, featuring a performance by Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting and other films).

Portrait is an unfunny comedic attempt along the lines of the Cinderella and ugly duckling stories. One thing that can be said for most characters in this theatrical dud is that they are well dressed and groomed. So that this viewing experience shouldn’t be a total loss, Amazon provides links under the film for consumers to purchase the items seen in the piece. In this case, consumers could purchase Max Azria skirts, Sephora beauty products, Motorola or Nokia cell phones and a leather handbag from Nordstrom.

Consumers also had the option of signing up for the Amazon Platinum Visa Card to make them eligible for special Amazon Theater offers.

Moderator’s Comment: What do you think about Amazon’s attempts to combine entertainment with retailing?

From a retailing standpoint, this is quite innovative. Of course, it would be better if it was also entertaining because, after seeing a bad film, we weren’t
thinking about buying any of the products we saw.

George Anderson – Moderator

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