The Continuing Saga of Kindle vs. Nook and the Part Advertising is Playing
Question: The Kindle Fire or the Nook Tablet? Which is better?
Answer: I don’t care.
I may eventually purchase one or the other, but at this time, I have more basic and pressing expenses to contend with. What I do care about – or, more accurately – am interested in about these two products, is how popular they are and how much their popularity has to do with marketing.
Amazon – the makers of the Kindle – has recently posted sales numbers that show something quite remarkable. As Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, tells it: “Customers are now choosing our Kindle books more often than our print books. We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly – we’ve been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than 4.”
As for the Nook Tablet from Barnes and Noble, sales are a little more sluggish. Amazon has the vast majority of market share, with Barnes & Noble saying it has 27 percent of the market, compared to Amazon’s share of “at least 60 percent.”
Is it the product itself that is giving the Kindle Fire its edge or is it the advertising? Or, some combination of the two? That would be hard to evaluate at this point, but what’s easy to see are the differences in the strategy of the sell.
The Nook’s spots – which I happen to prefer over the Kindle Fire’s – explore the personal, transporting nature of books, as the dominant theme, then weave in the part about Barnes & Noble’s longstanding connection to readers.
The Fire, on the other hand, leads off with “Amazon-as-hero” – “bringing a smile to your door” – and, then addresses the product. This approach is less interesting to me because as many times as Amazon says it…I’ll never think of them in the way I think of Hallmark or McDonald’s, as having the potential to make my day better.
A recent print ad from the Nook takes an interesting tact. Even though naming your competitors’ products is an unspoken “no, no” in the industry, the Nook does it unabashedly, touting their Glowlite feature. The ad cheekily tells the Kindle it’s “not that good in bed.” The ad goes on to explain that the Nook, with the Glowlite feature, allows you to read in bed without disturbing the person next to you.
Is running an ad this directly competitive a sign of desperation on B & N’s part? Perhaps. Regardless, if you’re a potential customer, who is undecided between the two products, the Glowlite feature might just be enough to tip the scales.
Whether I buy a Kindle Fire or a Nook tablet, or choose to buy neither, I will continue to enjoy the unfolding saga of their respective marketing ploys.
Until only days ago, Amazon was putting ads on the lock page and home page of their Kindle Fire units – movie trailers, TV promos and coupons for money-off on an assortment of products and services. They claimed the revenue generated by running these ads was helping them keep their price per unit lower. However, the resulting uproar from customers over being force-fed these ads has caused Amazon to offer an opt-out feature…for an additional fifteen dollars! Ain’t that swell of ‘em?
I just can’t wait to hear what’s next.
About Dave Carter
My name is Dave Carter. I am the President/Creative Director at Sheehy+Associates. After over 25 years in the advertising industry, there isn’t much I haven’t seen or done with regard to advertising within most any business segment on a local, regional or national level. I relish the unique opportunities that accompany every client with which we partner. In my free time, you can usually find me outdoors, backpacking and/or mountaineering. I also coach high school track and cross country at St. Xavier High School.