Amazon Ordered a Sunday Night Drone Strike on the Retail World

Why do bald men always make the best evil geniuses?

You’re probably still scrolling through emails from clients upset that Amazon trumped whatever Cyber Monday promo stunt they had planned with last night’s drone delivery service “reveal.”

They’re not wrong, you know; if you were psychic, you would have been able to sense CEO Jeff Bezos thinking “Go ahead and beat this, I dare you” while smirking at the rest of the retail world in the 60 Minutes segment below. Show us the money, Charlie Rose:

One must admire the brass balls on display here, but we’re gonna have to burst your fragile bubble: of course it’s all just a big, brilliant stunt.

If you’re expecting a drone delivery at any point in the foreseeable future, then you’re going to be disappointed. Bezos himself admits that FAA regulations for this automated deliveryman will be more challenging than the technology itself. As The Guardian writes:

Floating an exciting-but-impractical innovation for a swath of press coverage is such an old PR tactic you’d hope no one would fall for it, and yet everyone still does.

True, but it still makes for a pretty cool promo clip:

Bezos’ drone service remains grounded for now, but we can still laugh about it and fear it. The sitcom plots write themselves: imagine firing notices, paternity test results, and jury summonses delivered by drone. And we didn’t even mention lifesaving medication drops far more accurate than those performed by standard helicopter. Technologically, it’s a big deal; it’s also a perfect excuse to promote Amazon just hours before the biggest e-commerce day of the year. (For a company with a shockingly small profit margin, Amazon certainly seems to have a lot of money lying around.)

Now are we ready for the first multimedia pitch to land on the roofs of our buildings complete with personalized press releases and product samples?

Not sure. For the moment we’re just a little less concerned about when, exactly, our hair might start thinning, because Bezos, Lex Luthor and Walter White have so clearly demonstrated that brilliance is inversely proportional to the length of one’s mane.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: December 2, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT