Kindle's Got A WayBack Machine? - Commercial Escapism

Amazon, you've got a great piece of art in your "Fly Me Away" commercial.  I've got to give you that.  It's not easy to come up with a visual representation of the amazingly varied experiences of reading great books, but your ad folks have done it.  The stop-action is perfectly suited to the way we remember stories we've read, not word-for-word, but in flashes of sometimes impossible adventures.

But it's also the music.  No doubt, you knew the song would be a hit.  By the google results when searching for your commercial, though, I'm not certain whether like me, viewers loved your Kindle or the gorgeous visuals.  Then there's that earworm sweetly sung by Ms. Annie Little. 

The only problem I see with your pitch is that the images call to mind words like "retro".  Don't get me wrong. I'm with you on the whole vintage thing.  I mean, take a look at my blog header.  Where I think you're missing the mark, Amazon, is in using the nostalgic tone to introduce a completely non-retro and decidedly modern way to enjoy a centuries-old medium.  It's a tall order to get readers to switch away from the very tactile experience of turning pages as you move through the story.  I'll be interested to see whether you accomplish your goal, but am left wondering whether a commercial recalling what appear to be stories from childhood reading material will help you reach it.

Speaking of effort, directors Angela Kohler and Ithyle Griffiths get an A in the category of Creative.

Fly Me Away

Silver moons and paper dreams
Faded maps and shiny things
You’re my favorite one-man show
A million different ways to go

Will you fly me away?
Take me away with you, my love

Painted scenes, I’m up all night
Slaying monsters, flying kites
Speak to me in foreign tongues
And share your secrets one by one

Will you fly me away?
Take me away with you, my love

Can hardly think what life was like
Before I had you by my side
Can’t say what I’d do without you
Knowing what it’s like to have you

Hidden walkways back in time
Endless stories, lover’s crime
In my mind I’ve been set free
We’ll take this journey, you and me

Will you fly me away?
Take me away with you, my love

Music: Annie Little, Ithyle Griffiths, and Marcus Ashley
Lyrics: Annie Little
Produced by Marcus Ashley
Mastered by Hans DeKline at Sound Bites Dog, Culver City, CA
Annie Little: Vocals and Piano
Marcus Ashley: Bass, Drums, Percussion, Accordion, Synth
Alanna Vicente: Trombone


Sunil said...

I don't know if the "retro" juxtaposition is as jarring as you seem to suggest. I can't think of a specific example, but haven't we seen the unleashed imagination concept like this associated with the physical book before? To me it's a pretty natural and clever evolution.

D McConnell said...

Good point, Sunil. It's just that I wondered whether we were ready to easily marry the retro look with the technology. In some circles of early adopters, yes, but in that case it's like preaching to the choir.

Or maybe that's exactly the audience they're aiming for.

I would think, though, the goal of the Amazon TV advertisers is to entice those who are less tech savvy and can't fast forward through commercials. To that audience, the juxtaposition may be a bit more jarring.