There are many reasons Amazon’s first attempt at building a smartphone, the Fire Phone, resulted in a flop. Critics and gadget reviewers mainly blamed the Fire Phone’s lack of unique features, while Amazon itself said the price was just too high. But there were other missteps as well, such as Amazon’s cringeworthy TV advertising campaign.
Yes, I’m referring to Amazon’s Fire Phone commercial, which featured a pair of hipster children discussing the benefits of owning the company’s smartphone as well as plugging Prime memberships.
According to data provided exclusively to VentureBeat from iSpot.tv, Amazon spent just over $39 million to air the commercial over 5,700 times on TV from July to September. That campaign delivered 439,000 online interactions (searches, social media posts, and video views driven by the commercial.
In other words, the company spent $88 for every person they got to interact with its commercial — an incredibly expensive rate.
In addition, the commercial got 337,000 views online.
What Amazon should have done was hire comedic genius (insane person?) Gary Busey who, according to iSpot’s data, delivered Amazon’s most engaging TV ad campaign for a new product launch to date — in Busey’s case, for the Amazon Fire TV. Busey was hired for a commercial plugging the company’s set-top box as well as the device’s remote voice control feature.
Amazon aired the Busey commercial nearly 2,300 times on TV from April to June 2014, spending $12 million less than it did on the hipster children ad campaign. For this, the company saw 900,000 online interactions around the TV spot and 730,000 online views of the video.
Of course, we don’t know how much Amazon spent to hire Busey, but he almost certainly helped sell more Fire TVs than the kiddos were able to do with the Fire Phone.
The moral here is definitely that Amazon shouldn’t have sent children to do Gary Busey’s job.
(Both videos embedded below for you to pass judgement on.)