E-Commerce Packaging: Will Ads on Boxes Become Normal?

Posted on January 16, 2019

I typically spend my Sunday evenings scouring the web for the latest in e-commerce news. For the most part, it’s simply about staying up to date. But sometimes, I’ll stumble across a topic I’d love to write about myself. This week I found one of those topics from the most unlikely of sources: Darren Rovell.

A sports business reporter, Rovell is very … unique. He’s gained quite a following on Twitter as he is certainly on top of his coverage beat. For the most part, his mentions are filled with sports fans calling him a nerd to varying degrees as he points out concession prices and gambling trends. He’s typically a good sport about it, though. Then sometimes he isn’t. He appears to know his lane and then other times doesn’t seem to grasp it. And it’s that sort of uncertainty surrounding him that has captured a social meida audience with more than 2 million followers. 

But I digress because fully explaining Rovell is far from the intent of this article. I really don’t have the words to accomplish that regardless. So, getting away from the obscurity of Rovell, here’s the tweet that caught my attention:

Yep, Amazon is selling advertisements on its packaging. The e-commerce giant has done similar things in the past, previously promoting the movie Minions in a similar fashion in 2015. But while that might have cracked the door open, this feels like it’s pushing packaging advertising to another level.

This isn’t a movie that’s looking to make major profits over a couple weekends. This is Chevy pushing the Silverado. That’s a marketing campaign that essentially never stops. The partnership will see 7.1 million Amazon home delivery boxes shipped featuring the ad.

If enough eyes are going to be on something, there’s an opportunity to slap an ad on there and generate some extra revenue. With Amazon sending billions of boxes each year, it stands to reason this is just the beginning for packaging ads.

(As for the samples Rovell references, you can read about that by clicking here. It’s currently up in the air whether this is cool or creepy. But I guess that’s can be the case with a lot of strategies when thinking like a data company. I suppose only time will tell.)

There’s only one Amazon, so ads on packaging probably aren’t something most e-commerce stores have considered to this point. But in the near future, this could very well be a reality for all. It’s an intriguing added touch point for consumers that can benefit the advertiser and the seller. Why wouldn’t this stick? It makes too much sense.