Amazon Inserts Its Own ‘Man of the Year’ Issue in Time to Promote Man in the High Castle

Adding fuel to Trump-Hitler comparisons

Headshot of Jason Lynch

If you thought Time's new person of the year cover featuring Donald Trump echoed the magazine's pick of Adolf Hitler in 1938, wait until you see what's inside.

Each person of the year issue features an advertising booklet insert from Amazon Studios with a mock Time man of the year cover ostensibly from 1963 honoring The Man in the High Castle.

It's part of Amazon's provocative marketing campaign for the return of the drama, with Season 2 streaming beginning Friday for Amazon Prime customers. Based on Philip K. Dick's 1962 novel of the same name, the series takes place in a world in which the Allies lost World War II, and Japan and Germany split up the United States. While Amazon does not release ratings for its streaming shows, it has said The Man in the High Castle is its most popular original series in the history of Prime Video.

The six-page Time insert includes a feature story on the mysterious Man in the High Castle, whose identity remains a mystery at this point though he will be featured in Season 2, and a conventional ad for the Amazon series on the back cover. Its tagline: "The future belongs to those who change it."


It's an eerie parallel to the Trump cover, which many people have compared to Hitler's being named man of the year in 1938.

The Amazon insert further highlights those parallels. Time's cover line for Trump calls him "President of the Divided States of America," wording Trump took issue with, telling Today on Wednesday that it was "snarky," and adding, "I'm not president yet. So I didn't do anything to divide."

But Amazon's faux Time issue includes a map in which the United States literally is divided in two, as it is on the series—Germany controls the East Coast, and Japan is in charge of the West Coast.

The Amazon insert was part of a larger Amazon ad buy for the show within Time Inc., though Time was the only booklet insert. Amazon also ran a faux cover on People in December 2014 to promote the first season of Transparent.

While other brands have spoofed or reimagined Time's person of the year issue in the past, this appears to be the first time it was done as a booklet insert within the issue itself.

While Time said Amazon was given no advance indication of its choice for person of the year, Trump was an obvious front-runner.

This isn't the first time Amazon has taken an eye-raising approach to marketing the series. Last year, it briefly plastered a New York City subway train with Nazi and Imperial Japanese imagery before the ads were quickly pulled.


@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.