I've seen a lot of controversy on the web regarding the Kindle "Pool ad" .
I honestly think it is like the Mercedes advertisements. I've always been told (is it true?) that Mercedes ads are intended for their current customers. By making their current customers feel better, they 'sell the product' to their friends.
The more I think about the Kindle pool ad, the more I believe it was created to make current Kindle owners feel better about their Kindles. I think it worked.
Side note: How many Kindles have you sold? Me? I know of about 40 people I've influenced to buy a Kindle. (Yes, 40.) Only a few did yours truly really influence them to buy a Kindle. e.g., my parents after I suggested the Kindle as the 'splurge' Christmas gift as a reward for providing multiple grandkids. Although my brother *might* be even more responsible in selling the Kindle...
Now, among those 40, I think I accelerated the purchase by an average of 6 weeks. In other words, they would have bought an e-book reader anyway. So 40 Kindles * 1/2 book per week sold * 6 weeks=120 extra Kindle books sold. Not a bad strategy to accelerate that trend...
I'm waiting to find out if any of a group of friends bought a Kindle this weekend. I was reading as I arrived 1/2 an hour before everyone else for dinner. As in I arrived the stated time rather than SoCal 'on time.' I also showed my Kindle to a curious bystander when I was reading at the beach. It is certain that individual wouldn't buy a Kindle; but now he knows a screen can be read in bright sunlight that even 'washed out' his watch.
What has this to do with the pool ad? I think its working. I know of three people that carried their Kindle around a bit more since seeing the ads. Those people influenced the sale of 3 to 4 more Kindles because of it. If nothing else, the 'pool ad' will mellow out 'Kindle evangelism' so that it is more effective.
Amazon needs to pursue a Mercedes advertising strategy where half of their TV ads are to make current customers sell the Kindle. The other half of the ads should be focused on new customers. The 'pool ad' was obviously geared towards current Kindle owners.