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Amazon now using its iconic shipping boxes as mini billboards

By Shawn Knight ยท 22 replies
Jun 4, 2015
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  1. amazon changed iconic shipping boxes ads advertising minions box ads despicable me

    As bland as they may be, those brown shipping boxes that often find their way to our doorsteps are unmistakably Amazon. Soon, however, they may be a thing of the past as the ecommerce giant for the first time is allowing third-parties to advertise on its boxes.

    If you’ve ordered something from Amazon recently, your item may have arrived in the bright yellow boxes shown above. Amazon has been shipping products in these limited edition boxes for the past week which feature characters from the upcoming Minions film that’ll hit theaters July 10.

    There are three different Minion box sizes, each with a different character emblazoned on the side.

    For those unfamiliar, Minions are the yellow characters from the Despicable Me franchise. Films under the banner have already grossed more than $1.5 billion at the box office, leading to a wealth of Minion-laden merchandise.

    Amazon partnered with Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment on the effort. It’s unclear whether or not the boxes are being sent to all customers or if Amazon is targeting select shoppers (perhaps those that have ordered kids toys, for example). My bet would be the latter but that’s just pure speculation on my part.

    This particular campaign aside, Amazon may have stumbled onto a serious revenue generator here. Given the company’s razor thin margins, any extra revenue would be welcomed among investors. And who knows, maybe we’ll see UPS, FedEx or the US postal service follow suit.

    Permalink to story.

  2. seefizzle

    seefizzle TS Evangelist Posts: 313   +169

    So is Amazon going to step up to the plate and replace my items when the bright yellow package is inevitably stolen from off my porch?
    Arris likes this.
  3. Why would they? After it's delivered, you're responsible. That's why you have it shipped to your work, since UPS/FedEx will only deliver during business hours and will never leave anything at the business door.
    Arris and agb81 like this.
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,458   +1,737

    Blame minions ;)
    ypsylon, Arris and stewi0001 like this.
  5. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 2,146   +1,223

    well if thefts spike they'll have to change something. I just don't like Amazon making money off of advertising on my property. Although, it's as simple as not purchasing from them anymore.
  6. seefizzle

    seefizzle TS Evangelist Posts: 313   +169

    I'm not sure they're trying to advertise to 'people' from your porch. I think they're advertising to you. I don't find anything inherently wrong with. Advertising is extremely pervasive. Might as well be on shipping boxes too. I'm just wary of brightly colored boxes attracting attention to my porch.
  7. If you don't like it, build a box on your porch and ask for carriers to put packages there.
  8. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 2,146   +1,223

    It doesn't matter who they're advertising to on my property, my home is not a billboard. And to think they have the gall advertise to me AFTER I purchase something WITH said purchase. It's plan ignorant. On top of that, if I have to pay shipping then I am paying amazon to use my property to advertise. This is completely unacceptable
  9. If you don't want the yellow boxes to attract people to your porch, why don't you put up some flowers or some fresh paint to attract people to your porch instead?
  10. Ummmm...what do you think the big black swooosh and the black and blue Amazon Prime tape is, if not advertising?
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,173   +3,263

    I dare you to buy something from Newegg. You will soon see they do the same thing.
  12. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 2,146   +1,223

    They can get away saying that's branding, in much the same way some newegg boxes say newegg or celestron boxes say celestron. But I simply will not pay for packaging that has advertisements on it. And if I pay for Amazon Prime, I still paid for shipping even if it says "amazon prime free 2 day shipping". I'm okay with branding, I'm not okay with advertising.
  13. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,173   +3,263

    A branded box is advertising, which is all this Amazon box is.
  14. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 2,146   +1,223

    most things I buy on amazon are so small that only the tape says "amazon". When they make me pay for the ink that someone else paid amazon to put on their boxes, that's where I draw the line. And I also know that amazon boxes are always going to say amazon, I accept and am okay with that. I am not okay paying for ink to be advertised a new movie or product that I have no interest in.

    But that's my opinion and it's as simple as me not buying amazon products if this becomes common practice. There are many other companies that don't brand or advertise on their packaging so they'll just get my business instead.
  15. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,173   +3,263

    Side note:
    What exactly is the regulations for shipping boxes? After being told on several occasions that shipping box had to be wrapped with plain brown paper, I'm having trouble believing this is allowed.
  16. dropbrian

    dropbrian TS Rookie

    You're not paying for "ink" that's not how advertising works. If anything, you ARE paying for the Amazon tape and ink for the swoosh, because branding company packaging is an expense associated with the cost of doing business, which is part of the general overhead. THE ADVERTISERS are paying for the ink, and if you buy from them, then $.03 or whatever of your purchase price went to pay for the ink on their NEXT advertising campaign. See how that works?
  17. dropbrian

    dropbrian TS Rookie

    If it's UPS, it's whatever Amazon negotiates. As long as a sticker with a UPC code or something is clearly visible, you could ship things with crap plastered all over them, in theory anyway. Also, I send letters with a wax seal to my nieces, for fun, all the time. It costs .71 instead of .49. I still can do it...
  18. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 2,146   +1,223

    If I'm paying for shipping I'm also paying for the shipping material. Therefore I'm paying to see the advertisements on the box. On top of that amazon is probably getting paid to put these things on their package.
  19. Panda218

    Panda218 TS Evangelist Posts: 416   +172

    All that matters to me is that my packages get delivered.
  20. yRaz if you are that upset than don't buy anything from Amazon.
  21. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 2,146   +1,223

    I've said exactly that in just about every post, but thanks for your insight
  22. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,533   +516

    On top of that amazon is certainly getting paid to put these things on their package.

    Fixed that for you. :)

    I would also suspect that Amazon will admit they are getting paid sometime in the future, and if customers push back, I bet they will respond with something like "the money that we make on that helps defray costs" or some other such business/marketing blather.

    As I see it, I am constantly bombarded with crap, uh, I mean advertising, even when I am using the amazon web site. For me, most of the crap is of little use, and if I were to see a box like this with an ad, the ad would be lost on me - except if it does really help defray my cost.

    Amazon is all about getting people to buy every single piece of crap they present to their customers. They love impulse buyers, and hate buyers like me who refuse to use "1-click buying", refuse to leave shipping addresses and payment methods on their site, and actually look closely at the crap they present when they search for something on their site so as to make sure that they do not buy something they do not want.
    yRaz likes this.
  23. Evil Bob

    Evil Bob TS Rookie

    If this becomes permanent they should and probably will have it optional to select if you want a particular advertisement box. I do have to give them props on this strategy , in addition to the advertising they could also make more money by charging extra for the advertising/specialty boxes. I am pretty sure they may do so in the future after testing the waters. I will admit if I was sending a package as a gift I would most likely pay a little extra to have the gift in a box with one of their favorite characters on the outside. When ordering for myself in all honesty as long as I get the item on time and in working order I really do not care if the box is plain or has any advertisements on it.

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