- Amazon announced it will deliver giant "smile boxes" to five cities around the world ahead of Prime Day. The 25-foot boxes will open in New York, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo and Milan and reveal pop-up events that highlight the e-commerce giant's membership offers, according to a press release.
- USA today reports that the pop-ups could include concerts, video gaming tournaments, fashion or literary themes. People can view a live stream of the events on a special "unboxing" microsite and the Amazon mobile app.
- The company's campaign ahead of the annual shopping blitz also includes a smart home sweepstakes. People can enter for a chance to win an Alexa-enabled Lexus and smart home package by asking the voice assistant questions about Prime Day, watching Alexa-related videos and using the Amazon app, per the release.
By dropping off giant boxes and live streaming the reveal of their contents, Amazon is highlighting the benefits of Prime membership, which include music, video, gaming and more, in an attempt to grow its member base and drum up excitement ahead of its major annual shopping day.
The delivery of a giant box is a marketing stunt that Amazon seems to be embracing lately. In May, the company delivered a 40-foot long box with air holes and the "Jurassic World" logo to a mall in Los Angeles to promote the movie and Amazon's tie-in. The out-of-home event also included an Alexa skill that let curious passersby ask the voice assistant about the box's contents and unlock an interactive experience. The company's giant box tactic isn't totally new, as past promotions include a 2013 partnership with Nissan to deliver cars in boxes to those who purchased them on the platform.
While Amazon's roots are in e-commerce, the company has been growing its technology and entertainment offerings, as well as its advertising business. Live streaming the opening of the giant boxes and featuring special content, such as the comedian-studded show hosted by Bob Newhart, are in line with this effort. Amazon continues to dominate the smart speaker market, with its Echo device holding an estimated 69% of market share. The company's Alexa tie-ins with Prime Day could serve double duty by promoting the annual shopping event and showcasing the digital assistant's capabilities.