Amazon #drone story? Sublime #growthhack if you ask me

On Sunday, the day before Cyber Monday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed that the company is working on Amazon Prime Air, a new delivery service, whereby Amazon would deliver goods at your door by an army of drones. The Internet raved about the idea (just Google for Amazon Prime Air and you'll find links to the story on all major newspapers and blogs), the video attracted 6Mo+ views within 3 days. Hours after the video went live, you could already find in-depth articles of people who were arguing that this is the future of parcel delivery, and an equal amount of people giving all sorts of arguments why this will never ever work.

So, are drones the future of parcel delivery? That I don't know, but what I do know, is that Amazon gave us an excellent example of the future of marketing and Growth Hacking. With a relatively small budget, and leveraging on its name, Amazon managed to get prime time coverage for their brand on Cyber Monday, one of the most important days for online retailers.

To me, it's an example of a brilliant growth hack. Let's use the "three rules of epidemics" by Malcolm Gladwell for a bit of analysis:

  • Law of the Few: Amazon revealed Prime Air on 60 minutes, a popular American television news magazine. The show is widely popular and Amazon knew that it could count on an army of journalists and bloggers to pick up the story. Agreed, not everybody can make it into the 60 minutes show, but Bezos used his time to the max.
  • Power of Context: Amazon released the video on Youtube, a medium that allows for instant sharing, embedding, retweeting and liking. So forwarding or spreading the video was as frictionless as it can be, ideal for bloggers, online news outlets and the rest of us.
  • The Stickiness Factor: The content of the video undeniably has something sticky in it: drones are a controversial topic in and of themselves, octocopters look like toys for (big) boys and the whole idea of delivering parcels at your door, by an army of drones, gets people to think, to dream and starts, realistic or not, conversations.

Will Amazon Prime Air ever see the light of day? Impossible to say at this moment, but it sure Amazon's growth hack should make you wonder: what "stunt" could you pull off to make it to main stream coverage?