The 30-second ad takes place at a plush resort and involves an exchange between a bikini-clad woman (representing Amazon) and a slightly awkward-looking man (representing Apple).
The 30-second ad begins with the Apple guy walking past the woman, shielding his iPad from the sun. She’s reading a book on her Kindle e-reader. “Best way to read, even in sunlight,” she says of her device.
The guy shoots back with something about not being able to watch movies on an e-reader, to which the woman points out her two children just across the way, watching movies on their Kindle Fire devices—albeit in the shade to reduce glare.
The guy tries again to talk up his iPad, which, incidentally, isn’t referred to by name in the ad. “Three Kindles, that’s got to be expensive,” he says.
“Not really, together they’re still less than that,” replies the smiling woman, looking at the man’s tablet.
At this moment the man looks far more crestfallen than necessary, but hey, this is an Amazon ad hoping to persuade people that three cheap devices are better than a single pricey one. To give you the exact figures, two Kindles and a Fire tablet will set you back $357, whereas Apple’s lowest-spec iPad costs $499.
But as the vast majority of consumers in the market for a tablet know by now, the iPad costs more than the Kindle Fire because it does more and has a lot more going on under the hood. For starters, the Fire has a smaller screen, no camera and less memory.
No doubt Apple will be flattered by the attention. More than 55 million iPads have been sold since its launch in April 2010 and up to now no company has been able to mount a serious challenge with an alternative device.
To its credit, Amazon is the first company since Apple to succeed in selling a tablet in any great number, having shifted somewhere in the region of six million units in just a few months. But the fact remains, the iPad and Fire are at opposite ends of the tablet spectrum and so it’s unlikely Amazon’s ad will have the effect of diverting the attention of those considering shelling out for Apple’s device.