News | October 15th 2021

Ad Age | Amazon Launches Campaign For Its Ad Business Telling Brands It's More Than E-Commerce

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Originally published in Ad Age

Amazon Ads is in the middle of an ad campaign of its own, attempting to position Amazon’s platform as a place to build brands and not just pump direct response sales for consumer products online. The new B-to-B ad campaign comes with the tagline: “Your brand. Their world,” and it is launching just as Amazon enters into one of its biggest promotional opportunities—its new streaming deal with the NFL.

Advertising-interested audiences may have seen the campaign popping up in banner ads online, including on sites like Ad Age, where Amazon Ads is promoting the ad platform to brands. Code and Theory is the agency working with Amazon Ads by creating display ads online, videos and billboards, according to Amy Carvajal, chief creative officer at Code and Theory. Code and Theory, which is part of The Stagwell Group marketing company, won the Amazon Ads account earlier this year. Rufus, which is part of the media agency Initiative, is Amazon’s media buyer.

“Most people think Amazon is mostly ecommerce,” Carvajal said in a recent phone interview. But Amazon Ads is for “brands like automotive and financial.”

“This is by far the largest push they ever had regarding their advertising business,” said Brent Buntin, Code and Theory chief marketing officer.

The agency did not reveal how much Amazon was spending on the campaign. The campaign comes at a time when Amazon is trying to take its advertising business to the next level. The ecommerce giant has developed properties outside its online shopping site. There is IMDb TV, Fire TV, Twitch, Prime Video, Alexa-powered speakers, and other places for brands to put their messages.

Code and Theory’s concept for the Amazon Ads campaign was to “move them away from this perception of being a lower-funnel, ecommerce conversions solution,” Buntin said. It’s about “how do you build a global brand with Amazon Ads.”

Amazon’s advertising business is on a tear, as well, after hitting nearly $8 billion in ad sales in the second quarter this year, which was an increase of 83% from the same period in 2020. The campaign for Amazon’s ad offering also comes just ahead of one of its most important new programs, a multiyear deal to stream NFL games exclusively on Thursday nights starting in 2022.

One of the key elements in the Amazon Ads advertising is a billboard that has run in Times Square, showing two people in front of the TV, one of them is cradling a football. The same image appears in some varieties of the banner ads popping up online.

It’s no coincidence that Amazon would want to highlight that its ad platform is about more than direct-response marketing, when as it becomes a major partner to the NFL, which is known for attracting the largest brand advertisers.

“It’s really showing the brand in a new way,” Carvajal said. “[The ads are] intended to be constantly expanded and built upon so we are able to adapt over time.”

Amazon Ads has also recently revamped its website. The display ads in the new campaign link to the new-look website.

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