Sunday, September 19, 2010

Why Is Kindle Advertisement So Uninspired?

When Amazon's Kindle first appeared on the market in December of 2007, it was a completely revolutionary device that changed forever the way people read, buy, publish and sell books. Since then, many other companies realized that the future belongs to electronic reading devices and started making and selling their own. I was one of the early adopters of the Kindle and my level of hapiness with this - I can't even bring myself to call it a device - beautiful thing keeps growing.

What I find very suprising, though, is Amazon's utter failure to advertise the Kindle. First TV commercials that featured it were really idiotic and incomprehensible even to someone who has been using the Kindle for years. The commercials consisted of some really silly cartoon where a person dropped it in the water and then dived in to recover it. A very weird and annoying song played in the background. All any reasonable person could deduce from this commercial was that the Kindle is water resistant, which it absolutely isn't. No actual characteristics and capabilities of the Kindle were even remotely referred to in this commercial.

Then last May, iPad hit the markets. Hardcore Kindlers like me know that in what concerns electronic reading the Kindle has significant advantages over the iPad. For one, the Kindle is a lot smaller and weighs a lot less than the bulky iPad. The Kindle is perfect to be carried in a woman's handbag, while the iPad requires a backpack to be carried with you at all times. The Kindle has its own keypad, so you don't have to touch the screen all the time, leaving nasty fingerprints on it. Another area in which Kindle is a lot better is that it can be read in direct sunlight. The iPad can't do that. Its screen works like a computer screen. You can't use it on the beach, on a picnic, or pretty much anywhere outside. This, of course, defeats the entire purpose of having an electronic reading device. (The iPad is actually significantly bigger than my netbook, which does fit into most of my handbags and is a real computer, with a real keyboard.)

So did Amazon do anything to publicize these crucial differences between the Kindle and the iPad? Not really. At least, not until today. I just saw for the first time ever a commercial that points out how useless the iPad is compared to the Kindle for reading on the beach. Today is September 19, and the whole topic of reading outside in the sunlight is kind of passé. This commercial would have made perfect sense in May and during the summer. What the hell is Amazon trying to achieve with these utterly inept and completely half-hearted attempts to promote the best thing they have ever come up with? This is enough to make a passionate Kindler very angry.

8 comments:

BenYitzhak said...

I will say that I saw that ad in May or June. The people at Amazon are not that obtuse.

Clarissa said...

That's good to know. Although, this commercial still should have been a lot more massive. I'm a TV junkie and if I never saw it that says something.

I'm still waiting for them to add the capacity to read texts in Russian. When that happens, my happiness would be complete.

BenYitzhak said...

I'm looking forward to Hebrew support myself.

Justin said...

I'm still waiting for Amazon or Sony or someone to improve the ability to read PDF documents. If your PDF is image-based, like 85% of JSTOR, you're going to have a hard time.

I am not generally an Apple aficionado, but the iPad's ability to handle PDF is a definite plus. Not that I am willing to spend $500 for that feature alone.

I'll just keep killing trees in the meantime.

David said...

Not the first time that a company has failed to properly market an innovative technology. One of the worst was Tivo, whose initial ads focused on how much fun it would be to "ruin a network executive's day", as if anyone cared, rather than crisply explain what the product actually *did*.

Pagan Topologist said...

The worst was Beta VCR's. It was a far superior system to VHS, but was not marketed aggressively, so the other format triumphed, to the chagrin of many of us.

brian said...

Hey, Pagan Topologist, keep your chin up. We got DVD's now, homie.

Pagan Topologist said...

True, Brian. I was writing about history.