Amazon Business enlists ‘talking’ animals in marketing campaign


Already Amazon.com Inc.’s fastest-growing unit with more than $25 billion in annual gross sales, Amazon Business is out to win over more hearts among buyers and procurement managers at small as well as large companies. Last week it launched “Buy Smarter. Dream Bigger.” as its first major marketing campaign across multiple media channels, featuring a fictitious manufacturer of pet devices.

Hyeyoung Moon, the global lead of marketing at Amazon Business, says the campaign is designed to promote Amazon Business as an easy-to-use marketplace that “frees up business leaders to focus more on their businesses and mission.”

‘Fun and engaging’ campaign

“That’s the spirit we are capturing with this fun and engaging campaign that celebrates the dreamers and empowers more decision-makers to buy smarter,” he said in an email reply.

The campaign, directed by ad agency BSSP in association with Biscuit Filmworks, will run nationally through November. The campaign will be supported by complementary creative materials across national radio, digital elements and out-of-home images placed in airports and other locations in “key markets like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago,” a spokeswoman says. Public relations firm Walker Sands is also supporting the campaign’s social elements.

By emphasizing humor, the campaign is addressing recent findings that many consumers and businesses expect brand marketing to be funny.

People remember funny ads

A recent report from business software provider Oracle Corp. and author/podcaster Gretchin Rubin, for example, found that 91% of people worldwide prefer brands to be funny in their advertising. In addition, it found that 90% are more likely to remember ads that are humorous. But only 20% of brands say they use humor in offline ads, 18% in online ads, the report found.

In the Amazon Business Pet Tech video, an ostrich, an alpaca and a poodle wear what appear to be electronic devices as collars and use them to speak in English to a meeting of Pet Tech executives. The ostrich kicks things off by telling the executives, “Your translation device works — bravo!”

But when one of the executives asks the ostrich to say “peanut butter,” the bird declines and starts a conversation joined by the alpaca about how the team can use Amazon Business to purchase the supplies they need to grow their business while controlling their spending. (The poodle, meanwhile, complains after an Amazon Business Buy page doesn’t let it purchase 1 million dog bones.)

In the video’s ending, the ostrich chimes in one last time: “Hey everybody — peanut butter!” The video ends in laughter.

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