Amazon Brings Retail Fashion To Prime; TV Ads Get Shorter

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Amazon’s Magic Wardrobe

Amazon is ramping up the retail fashion arm of its Prime business in a big way. Subscribers will be able to order from three to 15 articles of clothing, try them on, send items back and only pay for ones they keep. It’s a brutal way to undercut subscription ecommerce fashion services like Stitch Fix and Rent the Runway, which need to extract fees on shipping and curation – as well as from users who return everything. For Amazon, getting people to become Prime subscribers is its own reward. Instead of using fees as a stick to guarantee a minimum sales threshold, Amazon will offer a carrot in the form of tiered discounts to those who keep three to four or more than five items. And if the company demonstrates sales (and it probably will), it’s going to seriously juice ad budgets from the kind of fashion brands that are a pillar for Instagram. More at The New York Times.

Omni-Potent

Speaking of Amazon, with 300 million customers, its shopper data is the envy of many. And with Whole Foods now under its belt, that distinction becomes even clearer. “Amazon for years has been looking for more ways to gather information about how consumers shop,” writes The Wall Street Journal. Owning Whole Foods will allow Amazon to marry its online purchase data with offline sales data. From there, it can figure out how to nudge online shoppers into making more impulse buys and thereby attribute more value to any marketing across Amazon properties. Focusing only on the retail category “misses the deeper and more disruptive strategic dynamic that powers” everything Amazon does across categories, writes Bob Evans at Forbes.

Big Idea, Small Canvas

Ads are getting shorter – even on TV. Fox Networks Group announced at the Cannes Lions festival on Monday that it would introduce Google’s six-second bumper ads to its digital and TV content. Fox will use the six-second format for all ads within its original content series on FX. Shows will begin with a “brought to you by” sponsor message and use shorter, sequenced creative messaging throughout the show, said Joe Marchese, president of advertising revenue at Fox Networks Group, speaking at a press briefing in Cannes. “We’ve been very vocal [that] the role of modern monetization is not to maximize revenue,” he said. “It’s to maximize revenue and UX. That’s 100% aligned with the six-second spot.” More at The WSJ. (AND: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-whole-foods-m-a-amazon-com-ceo-idUSKBN19B008)

Turn Of Events

Brands have been wringing margin out of their advertising agencies, and it’s forcing agencies to trim where it hurts most: industry awards. One of Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun’s early marks on the company will be a new rule forbidding all agencies from paying to participate in industry awards or trade show promotion. An internal memo from Frank Voris, CEO of Publicis financial services unit Re:Sources, says he expects the savings to help his group clear a 2.5% cost-cutting goal for 2018, reports Patrick Coffee at Adweek. Publicis hasn’t provided any details on the plan, and Sadoun refused to say whether the company would be back at Cannes next year. More.

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