Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) ships more than three million products a day. That’s a lot of shipping boxes. So why not sell advertising space on these shipping boxes? Amazon is beginning to do this.
Last week, there were reports from Amazon.com customers that they received shipping boxes that were covered with characters from the upcoming film “Minions.” Customers noted there were small, yellow creatures printed on the boxes to promote the new animated movie, which will be released in theaters on Jul. 10.
Amazon confirmed these boxes will ship from certain fulfillment centers. The boxes come in a wide variety of sizes to match the size of the order. Different minions will also be featured on different sizes of the box: Kevin is featured on the smallest, Bob is placed on the medium-sized boxes and Stuart is on the large boxes.
The print also points to a website – amazon.com/minions. This is a shopping site dedicated entirely to all things minions. Amazon noted that more content will be added to the website as the date for the film’s opening nears.
It’s unknown as to how much Amazon earned from this ad deal.
New Revenue Streams for Amazon
This is a smart and effective marketing mechanism for Amazon, say analysts. The move will provide the company with new sources of revenue. Will it help Amazon’s profitability? Only time will tell.
It’s quite possible that consumers won’t mind as much because most of the boxes go straight to the recycling bin anyway. It could also help offset the costs of free shipping for Prime members and the recent announcement of free shipping for small parcels to all customers.
Simply put: if it helps minimize shipping charges then customers will be all for it.
Let the Speculation Begin
The speculation has already occurred. This initiative could prompt e-commerce companies and shipping couriers, like UPS and FedEx, to establish this new trend. Apple wants to compete with Amazon on delivery.
Furthermore, the new measure could update the older forms of advertising, including direct mail, which hasn’t experienced any innovation in years.
Some brand experts do recommend, however, that Amazon and marketers should tread carefully and limit these advertising endeavors. One expert likened the possibility of shipping boxes becoming like NASCAR.
“Less is more,” said Allen Adamson, North American chairman at brand consulting firm Landor, in an interview with AdWeek. “If their boxes start to look like NASCAR race cars, they will shoot themselves in the foot. No advertisers will find value in that, or it will polarize consumers, who might then learn to ignore the box.”
In the future, we could see Hollywood studios advertise their next big movie project. Or, we could see publishers advertise the next big hit from a major author. Or, we could see game developers promote some huge game coming out soon. Anything is possible.