Amazon’s Effective Detectives Make Shopping Feel Special

Amazon’s Effective Detectives Make Shopping Feel Special


Amazon’s latest tagline, “Every day better”, can carry multiple meanings. It could be a reference to Amazon’s 24/7 shopping operation. It could be a nod to their huge range of ordinary products. And it could simply mean that shopping with Amazon improves every day. Since the line’s being used on everything from consumer ads like this to ones promoting working at Amazon, the flexibility is clearly the point.

From our perspective at Test Your Ad, part of what makes a good tagline is the stories it lets you tell. Something like IKEA’s “The Wonderful Everyday” isn’t just a brand promise, it’s a creative springboard for all kinds of fantasy and delightful ideas. With “Detective Agency”, one of several new spots from agency BETC London, Amazon is showing that “Every day better” can play a similar role. It’s a way of telling the stories that happen around the purchases.

In this ad, it’s a story about an auntie who wants to get a special gift for her niece and hits on the idea of a jumbo magnifying glass. Amazon can sell her the item, but what she’s really buying is the opportunity to play fantastic make-believe detective games with her niece, and earn the title of “Best Auntie Ever!”. The ad scored very well on Test Your Ad, earning a strong 4.2 Stars with exceptional short-term Spike and Brand Fluency ratings.

Executionally it packs a whole lot into 30 seconds. The framing narrative – the aunt choosing a gift – is wrapped around a charming story of the Aunt and Niece private eyes solving the case of a missing cat, which of course allows for a couple of cute visual jokes involving animals (never a bad thing from a happiness perspective!). The case is cracked in 20 seconds flat, giving the last few moments over to the Aunt, and of course that tagline.

The ad works partly because its cultural references – to noir detective films and their tropes – are so familiar but used here to create warmth and laughter. Cultural references are powerful tools for engaging “broad-beam” attention and the right-brain, and Amazon’s use of them turns a pleasant ad into something with a touch of magic and escapism.

Maybe that’s part of the point. As consumers we’re so used to online shopping it’s easy to take rapid delivery and instant availability for granted. Amazon are one of the biggest and most successful brands in the world, but even they don’t want to become background noise entirely. An ad – and a tagline – reminding people of how online shopping can add a little magic to life is a smart move.