Diageo, Amazon Prime partner to produce ‘shoppable’ films

Spirits company Diageo has partnered with Amazon Prime for “shoppable” 20-minute films featuring premium brands like Dutch Vodka Ketel One, Don Julio tequila, Cîroc vodka, Ron Zacapa Guatemalan rum, Johnnie Walker’s luxury variants and Haig Club whisky, according to a report in Ad Age.

Blurring the on and offline worlds further

From humble beginnings back in 2002, ASOS, formerly known as As Seen On Screen have become quite the powerhouse in the online fashion world. One person I spoke to about this remarked that it was like the Heat magazine of fashion, always on the pulse of celebrity culture and reasonably inexpensive. I thought ASOS was a bit bigger than Heat as an entity but it was a good analogy. They are, I believe, the largest independent online fashion and beauty retailer. It fits though with the similar type of target, aimed primarily at fashion forward 16-34 year olds, the site attracts approx 5.3 million unique visitors a month with over 2 million registered users.

Here’s a perhaps unknown fact for you, the company was started by the great-grandson of the founder of the one time major UK high street tailor chain Austin Reed. An early indication even, that it was going to be sticking around!

What got me thinking about all this was the eye catching advert in the London Paper tonight (6th July) and the transition from being strictly online only to now doing a few things offline too. The bright colours and really stand out typography meant that you literally couldn’t miss it. I wondered whether ASOS had done something like this before in print or whether it was a first? Apart from their own magazine, I don’t think I’ve seen many other offline print initiatives, granted I may have missed them!

photo

Why now? Well, it would seem that heavy high street discounting and unemployment among younger shoppers is likely to slow the meteoric growth of ASOS according to a recent Retail Week article. “Job insecurity has to be a worry and I suspect that people are holding back.” said the Chief Executive, Nick Robertson.

“Clearly much tougher comparables are being faced and there is now some evidence to suggest that the rate of growth in online sales has begun to moderate.” he continued. Is that the honey moon period over then? Looks like that dreaded R word is only now starting to bite with ASOS, impressive going.

One thing I didn’t know was that they recently secured brands such as Mango and Gap to sell online, rapidly diversifying further along with adding maternity clothes, childrenswear and limited run collections. When the chief exec said back in 2007 that he wanted ASOS to be the Amazon of the fashion world, he looks to be getting his wish and predicting the future with a consummate skill that only Mystic Meg could be proud of.

I wonder, if they ramped up their print productions and went on an assault against your weekly/monthly celeb fashion titles, would things turn full circle and start to cannibalise the Heat’s of the world? Would it even be viable? Not sure they could keep up with the changing of trends if they were to produce the magazine any more frequently.

Will be interesting to see whether this is the start of a prolonged offline campaign to try and pique waning customer spending and if it has the required impact.

#Amazonfail and a coincidental job advert

This post was originally going to be entitled ‘A picture speaks a thousand words’ and simply put up the image below but felt like it deserved a bit more than that..

Reading this is probably the best place to start.. then come right back..

I’ve been keeping half an eye over the weekend on the steadily building #Amazonfail which is incidentally the top trending topic on Twitter and there are this minute more mentions than even Easter. (For an example of it’s talkability factor, in the past hour there’s been a further 700+ mentions since I carried out the original search.)

Amazon PR Week Job Posting

It’s starting to also garner mainstream coverage now as the traditional press catches up but it is something as far as I know started on Twitter and then made it’s way through the blogosphere shortly after.

What’s happened since then? #Amazonfail was being mentioned 4 times a second barely an hour after the first tweet. A petition was started (which over 15,000 people have signed) a Google Bomb took place, and no I formerly had no idea what one of them was either but it sounds pretty damaging. A Facebook group ‘Boycott Amazon’ has been started. A poll was created with the question being ‘Can Amazon redeem/repair their reputation after #amazonfail?’ A list has popped up featuring all the affected titles – here. Some internet hackers are claiming it’s all their doing whilst the names and numbers of the Board of Directors at Amazon HQ have been published. The CTO has been also been ‘unmasked’ (and remains quiet on the whole debacle). Clearly, this is an issue that’s not going to just disappear overnight.

I’ve rounded up a few posts below. One question that everyone at one stage appeared to be asking was do Amazon have a PR manager in the UK or otherwise to deal with freak happenings like this? The advertisement to my right that I coincidentally spotted in the back of the most recent issue of PR Week would suggest otherwise. I put up the picture on Twitpic and soon after @girlonetrack (an affected publisher) retweeted it to her followers.

A few questions for you..

Do you think this is going to affect Amazon’s reputation at all? Has their silence thus far helped or hindered the situation? What do you think their response should be?

Roundup –

Blogs and Twitter coin Amazonfail by Wall Street Journal

Amazon feel the web’s wrath by Zoe Margolis

Amazon sees censorship decisions magnified through the social web magnifying glass by Becky McMichael

Amazonfail – Easter PR Disaster by Matt Churchill

Amazon = FAIL by Alas, a Blog

#Amazonfail – Timeline of WTF by Anastacia

Amazon Follies by Mark Probst

AmazonFAIL discussion thread at Metafilter

Amazonfail: A call to boycott Amazon by Edward Champion

Amazonfail – Malice or Bumble by Jessica Gottlieb

Amazon has removed it’s customer based reporting of books by Brutal Honesty

Amazon blames a glitch by Los Angeles Times