International Amazon Kindle Release Marketing

The amount of marketing space Amazon is giving the Kindle in different countries is really interesting. Especially as Amazon doesn’t really sell the Kindle anywhere except Amazon.com and, to the best of my knowledge, doesn’t do much marketing outside of Amazon websites.

There was a post a few weeks ago that talked about how Amazon gave the international kindle front page ads on 4 different Amazon sites (can’t find it now). Well, things have changed since then -

Amazon.com (US) – Prime Placement

The International Kindle and the US Kindle get the best spot on the Amazon.com home page.

  1. There must be lots of sales to justify giving up such prime marketing space.
  2. Amazon clearly favors the US & International version.

Amazon Germany – Next to Nothing.

There’s a strip of Ads on the left hand side below the main menu that lists the Kindle (along with a lightbulb and MP3 downloads). Prime placement goes to Braun’s new series 5 and series 7 shavers (or to a Samsung Refrigerator).

Its really strange that Germany, despite being one of the countries showing the most interest in the International Kindle, is not getting a Kindle release marketing push. 

Here are all the products that are getting more real estate than the Kindle -

  1. Electronics items like Samsung TVs, Western Digital Media Players, etc.
  2. Electronic and Photo Bestsellers including the iPod, Touch, iPod Nano, Canon cameras and printers.
  3. Ed Hardy T-Shirts. Shouldn’t the fashion police put an end to that.
  4. Windows 7.

What could it mean?

  1. Perhaps Amazon will change ads tomorrow – the International Kindle Release Date is October 19th.
  2. Perhaps Braun shavers are selling more than the Kindle.
  3. Perhaps not many Amazon Germany customers are clicking on Kindle ads and buying them from Amazon.com.

Amazon UK – Next to Nothing

Another big surprise – the super lucrative UK market gets just a tiny banner in the top right. That, by the way, is the last place users look due to being trained that the right hand side is for banner ads.

The UK is another country with a lot of interest in the Kindle. Why not push it more?

Instead, Amazon is promoting iPods, Windows 7, video games, and jeans.

Amazon France – Sometimes, a Banner Ad

Amazon France shows a medium sized banner on the top right sometimes.

There hasn’t been as much interest from France so it makes sense that advertising is minimal.

Amazon Japan – Quite a Lot, Good Placement

Japan gets a main page, main column large ad half the time. The other half of the time it gets a strange looking Kindle: Hello World Ad with a lot of text and a small kindle image.

Japan is getting the most marketing push after the US -

  1. It definitely means Kindle Japan is seeing lots of sales – enough to justify main page placement.
  2. It’s a surprise given the Kindle doesn’t even support Japanese (Kanji).

Amazon China, Canada – Nothing

No Kindle advertising on Kindle China and Kindle Canada and not a surprise as Kindle isn’t available in either country.

Why isn’t Amazon coming in all guns blazing?

The international kindle is being billed as quite an event, some people even claiming it’s one of the biggest steps in the evolution of books since the Gutenberg Press (not my words).

And what exactly do we get from Amazon -

  1. No Big Press Conference. 
  2. Hardly any marketing on Amazon Germany, UK, and France.
  3. No marketing outside of Amazon websites (as far as we know).

Which leaves us with three possibilities -

  1. The US & International Kindle is aimed primarily at US customers.
  2. Amazon rushed the release to steal B&N’s thunder, resulting in a somewhat haphazard release.
  3. Amazon have a big, huge marketing pushed slated for the Holiday Season and are focusing their efforts on that.

2 Responses

  1. Today – official release day – sees the UK site actually lose the little ad that has been prominent for the past 12 days. Bezos’ full-frontal letter was there on the 7th (as was almost every other Amazon site) but quickly relegated to a modest placement. That small mention on the top right has now been ousted by one for shoes. This is at 10 am London time. At the same moment, amazon.com gives prime placement to a fanfare announcement that this is official release day. I also notice that – despite the ‘global’ launch, preordering has not resulted in the device being sold out. It is in stock and ready for immediate shipment.
    Perhaps you are correct. Perhaps the rush-job has caused them to alter their strategy on the fly and concentrate their efforts on those locations where they are selling well until they sort out the problems they have made for themselves. Shame. They started the revolution and I so wanted this effort to succeed in a big way. In the long run, competition is likely to be good for us all but I worry that important markets like Europe may prove more sluggish to lift off because of this.

  2. The small (top-right) placement you show in the video is now back on the UK site (11 am London).

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