Amazon has come a long way as a company over the past couple decades. The online bookseller turned into a tech giant and took over Seattle. But perhaps the most fun transformation was in the advertising it put out for the holidays.
Vintage Amazon.com commercials are alive and well on YouTube, dating back to the late 1990s and into 2000. A series of ads featuring a men’s chorus have the look and feel of something much older, as if they were produced in the Lawrence Welk era of the ’60s and ’70s.
We were drawn to the ads after one of them got some recent airtime in the Netflix comedy series “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj.” In his own monologue about the rise of Amazon, Minhaj used a clip showing the men — dressed like little kids — singing about how Amazon.com makes them feel like a kid. (Singing starts at 3:05 in video below.)
It was worth digging around to find other ads where the choir sang about all the possible gifts you could buy on Amazon back in the day. Here’s one called “emahtskcblvdt,” in which the men wear all of those letters on their sweaters, with each one announcing a product you could buy online, from electronics to toys.
A 1999 ad called “The Toy Song” was a rapid-fire list of all the possible toys you could buy on Amazon. Toys R Us never stood a chance.
And this ad, “Got a Lot,” perhaps best captures the phenomenon of Amazon at the time with its lyrics about how “no one’s got a lot of a lot of things like Amazon’s got a lot” … of books, tools, DVDs, electronics, toys and more.
It would be interesting to see a lyrical update on this one for 2018.
Finally, almost 20 years later, take a look at how far has Amazon come with its holiday TV ads. They’re still rooted in song, but the men’s chorus has been replaced by a version of “Can You Feel It,” a 1980 song by The Jackson Five.
The ad is still quirky, as smiling Amazon boxes are shown singing, from the company’s fulfillment centers all the way to the hands of those excited to get a delivery.