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What can Amazon Prime's 2016 Christmas ad teach us about living our values?

Posted on Nov 26, 2016 by Rachel  | Comments (0)

What can Amazon Prime's 2016 Christmas ad teach us about living our values?

A few days ago I shared the above video of Amazon Prime's new Christmas ad on social media. It features the beautifully touching story of a caring friendship between an Imam and a Priest. I thought it was a great example of brand storytelling this festive season – and it is.

But for all the wrong reasons. 

Within minutes people were liking it. Two had even commented. “Such a shame Amazon is such a **** of a company” said the first. “I was about to write something exactly the same," said a second. "Shame companies don’t act in the way that their romantic advertising should suggest”.

Ouch.

Both are timely reminders of the importance of choosing‘brand values’ that you actually share with your customers – then living and breathing them with all your might.  

Last week, Amazon was the subject of a regional documentary in the West Country. The programme investigated allegations of enormous pressure and safety risks faced by the company’s delivery drivers in Avonmouth, near Bristol.

Stories were shared of insane schedules made in unsafe vehicles. But the one that stuck in my mind was of a driver so stressed out about taking time out to perform his 'other' daily duties (his ablutions to you and I) that he ended up doing them into a carrier bag in the back of his van.

I sh*t you not!

Now re-watching the story of the Imam and Priest is heartwarming. But only until the driver turns up and says ‘delivery’. As soon as that happens my mind wanders from the story in front of me and all I can think is: Where have those hands been? And how stressed is she right now?

It popped in again when I signed for an Amazon parcel, only to wonder what kind of atrocities it had witnessed in the back of the van that brought it to me.  

Looking at Amazon’s website, they make no bones of having a culture dedicated to fast response and rapid delivery. But the way they treat their staff goes against my personal values and calls my Amazon brand loyalty into question big time.

Now I'm now choosing a wider web search over a default visit to Amazon for my Christmas shopping.

And all this leaves me pondering the interesting gap in the market for an ethical version of what Amazon do. With a maybe slower level of service, but still great and delivered by happy drivers who are treated as human beings.

Now that’s a story with values I’d buy into. I’d quite like to write it too.  

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