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Tag: Amazon

Let’s Get Real About The Amazon Prime Air Video


What a fine bit of marketing genius by a company I respect and patronize!

Amazon stole headlines all last weekend, on the eve of Cyber Monday 2013 (biggest online shopping day ever), with a primetime television feature on 60 Minutes and the release of the Amazon Prime Air video.


Amazon Prime Air Video


So what do we have here? We have the suggestion that delivery drone copters will bring Amazon packages to you within 30 minutes.

This suggestion drew predictably mixed reactions – from “Absolute nonsense! It simply can’t be done.” to “OMFG, this is the new sliced bread! Now pick me up off the floor so I can pass out again from the proper blend of befuddlement and elation that every member of the flock of consuming sheeple should be experiencing right now.”

Naturally, the extremes have little relationship with reality, so let’s take a few minutes to get real about the Amazon Prime Air video.

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Too Little, Too Late for Kindle?

(((Disclaimer: this is not a technology review or product comparison.  This post is about product positioning in prospects’ minds.)))

They’re the best commercials on TV right now … but they’re probably too late.  The first of these hit the air in March.  The iPad dropped on April 3.

Amazon hit up Ithyle for these fun, imaginative and insanely stylish ads for their Kindle reader.  Between the visual technique, music, props, scenes and transitions, they sing “the simple pleasure of stories” to me.  The feature or benefit sell is strictly limited to “books in 60 seconds,” which is subtle and sound.

Too bad this effort wasn’t undertaken a year or two back.

Check out the first three:

The Kindle has a very specific purpose.  It’s uniquely focused – no apps, no color, no video, no internet, just reading.  3G wireless provides access to a huge library of books, each of which can be downloaded in a minute or less.  That 3G access requires no subscriptions or monthly fees.  The battery life is very, very impressive.  Quite simply, it’s the best e-reader currently available.

Despite all this, I feel strongly that the iPad takes Kindle’s place in the mind of prospective buyers of e-readers.

That said, this isn’t a zero-sum game.  For the sliver who only want to read books and who do a rational side-by-side comparison, the Kindle should come out ahead.

For a couple years now, Amazon has done a nice job profiling Kindle on its homepage, particularly around holidays and other gift-buying times.  They have end-cap displays at Target complete with a live device that you can pick up, hold and explore.  They continue to roll out beautiful ads on television.

I hope it’s enough.

Link: previous post on iPad’s potential value to magazine publishers

Playing with Our New Flip Ultra HD

Who knew!?  You can have a high-definition video camera with 2 hours of storage that runs off rechargeable AA batteries delivered to your home in two days –  complete with an additional carrying sleeve – for well under $200.  Really.

On a whim and to understand the product, I ordered a Flip UltraHD video camera with a padded, draw-string Case Logic sleeve from Amazon with 2-day shipping.  The total cost was something like $172, including the cost of tw0-day shipping (overnight adds another $10-12).

Within 5 minutes of opening the box, my 6-year-old was using it.  See here:

Here’s a clip of the exterior and interior of a charming, little store in Old Colorado City that strictly sells honey-related products:

Here’s a pan of Crystal Reservoir and Pikes Peak, just off the Pikes Peak Highway:

None of these videos has been treated or sweetened in any way – simply pulled from the camera by USB and posted straight to YouTube.  The video and audio could certainly be improved with a little effort.  You can also grab still photo frames from the video with the software that comes loaded on the camera.

Bottom line: absolutely simple to use, reasonably priced, hand-held.  Turn it on, hit the big, red button to record, hit it again to stop recording.  There are also play and delete buttons and a flip-out USB arm.  That’s it.  It’s not going to be confused with a proper video camera, as there are no settings whatsoever.  For basic and spontaneous video – insanely easy to capture and share – it can’t be beat.

Here it is plugged into a USB port on the side of my laptop:

Flip Ultra HD - Plugged into Laptop by USB

Prognostication: for a slightly more sophisticated user, Apple will probably fold a nicer HD video camera into the iTouch or iPhone.  These devices will make sharing HD video easier (wirelessly, directly from the device), but it will never be so simple to operate as the Flip.

Related: Cisco, which bought Flip, has been blogging about how the Flip belongs in every PR toolkit.

See a half dozen more videos from our first weekend with the Flip Ultra HD at:

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