Amazon Prime Cooks Up a Feelgood Feast


Gourmet Guard


Amazon Prime presents an agency with an unusual problem. Some products are hard to advertise because, deep down, there’s no actual benefit there, but for Prime the reverse is true. There are so many perks, benefits and add-ons that come with a Prime Membership that turning the brand’s appeal into a coherent, emotional ad is quite a challenge.

In their recent Prime campaigns, Wieden + Kennedy have met this challenge via storytelling. Rather than focus on specific Prime benefits, Amazon and W+K have moved up the emotional ladder to look at how those benefits fit into someone’s life and make it better, crafting wordless stories of individual brand users and handing them to award-winning directors to bring to life.

This consistent approach has made Amazon the torchbearers for classic emotional storytelling in ads. Strong, heartwarming stories with universal appeal used to be a touchstone in American advertising but they’ve fallen a little out of fashion this decade as celebrities, memes and social media challenges fill our media channels. Amazon Prime’s ads show how effective that classic style can be.

Storytelling is also one of the benefits you get as a Prime member – in this ad, our security guard hero’s culinary journey is started when he sees a character cooking on Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys series. Inspired by the scene (and bored by his nightly sandwich), the guard orders a starter cooking set from Prime and begins to hone his skills, testing recipes out on his appreciative co-worker. The ad ends with him seeing a “Chef Wanted” ad, and taking the chance to turn his hobby into a new career.

As well as being a sweet story in its own right, “Gourmet Guard” is a lesson in exactly why the storytelling style is so effective in advertising. The ad showcases the benefits of Prime – super-fast delivery means the guard can turn one day’s inspiration into the next day’s action. But doing it as a story means the ad can include so many elements that we know are associated with effective, brand-building ads. So there’s plenty of human connection between the two guards, with strong characters and narrative to make it enjoyable on multiple viewings. And it’s all wrapped up with a great soundtrack (King Curtis’ “Memphis Soul Stew” – what else for a cookery-themed ad?)

No surprise then that the ad’s so effective. The guard’s story delivers a real emotional lift, scoring 4.9-Stars on our Test Your Ad platform, with Exceptional short-term Spike rating too. Amazon’s ads in this vein have tended to perform particularly well at Christmas, when this style of feelgood storytelling thrives. “Gourmet Guard” shows that it’s a technique that works all year round.

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