How Amazon Pulled Off Its Biggest Delivery Ever, a Masterpiece of Buzz Marketing

Most marketers who want to generate buzz, especially for a one-time event like a movie premiere, are looking to get the most eyeballs as fast as possible. But Amazon’s mega-delivery stunt for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom played a longer game—one that’s still going—and took engagement to a level rarely (if ever) seen with PR-drumming activations.

It began with the box. An Amazon box, specifically the largest in the company’s history. Delivered to Los Angeles (ostensibly from the dino-populated Isla Nublar) on May 29, it was trucked around the city on a flatbed, drawing attention and social media posts wherever it went.

Most buzz strategies would end there, perhaps slapping a hashtag somewhere in plain sight. Amazon’s box, with a Jurassic World logo, giant air holes and a reported 16,000-pound payload, instead featured a shipping label addressed to the protagonists of Fallen Kingdom, a SmileCode (which you scan with your Amazon mobile app) and the ultimate 2018 call to action: “Alexa, ask Jurassic World what’s in the box?”

Scanning the code took you to a microsite with a video and discount on Jurassic Park movies. The Alexa skill, however, took you to an interactive story that begins with the box and quickly transports you on a quest of investigative journalism to the shores of Isla Nublar. But even that was just a teaser for a deeper narrative experience that will go live later this month via the Jurassic World Revealed skill.

The project was more than a year in the making and required a wide range of moving parts and complementary partnerships, all leading up to the reveal of a T-rex statue at shopping destination The Grove L.A., with Fallen Kingdom stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard on hand to oversee the unboxing.

To learn more about how the project came together, Adweek caught up with Amazon U.S. ad sales chief Jeremi Gorman, who shared some of the big-picture goals and backstory on the company’s biggest delivery to date:

Adweek: How did this project first come about?
Jeremi Gorman, head of U.S. advertising sales, Amazon: Universal has a great history of collaborating with Amazon Advertising on big ideas, from a custom Amazon homepage for The Lorax and Read Across America, to the first-ever, fully third-party branded Amazon boxes for Minions (2015), and now teaming up for the biggest “delivery” in Amazon’s history.

This idea was actually hatched about a year ago in a brainstorm with Universal’s theatrical, franchise management, brand development and home entertainment teams and Amazon’s advertising sales, creative services, and marketing teams. Our goal was to build a program that would surprise and delight customers, create buzz for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and immerse fans in some new and unexpected dinosaur adventures.

We wanted to capture the excitement our customers say they feel when an Amazon box is delivered, but make it bigger – so we decided to do just that: literally make it bigger … way bigger. Once we’d landed on Amazon’s largest “delivery” as the linchpin, we worked on extending the ways in which customers could interact with the strong Jurassic World brand—like physical engagement with the SmileCode, the FireTV trailer drop, and featured deals across the Jurassic video catalog and merchandise on Amazon. And stay tuned, there are a few more to come!

Who were the brands and agencies involved, and how did everyone stay on the same page as this idea was developed?

Amazon production spearheaded communication between a great group of cohorts who were involved in this project. Among those were Tool of North America, who helped produce the teaser video and the citywide driving stunt, and Red Rock Entertainment, who ensured the day-of talent theatrics ran smoothly. Universal also introduced their partnership with Jeep to provide proper Jurassic-branded escorts – its iconic Jeep Wrangler–as the box was driving around town.

Our account and creative teams worked closely with the Universal media team from start to finish. Everyone involved was in constant communication – through all of the planning and preparation, to the box arrival in LA and big dinosaur unveil, and extending the event through social and media engagement.

(Editor’s note: Essence also participated as media agency for Universal, and Kinetic was a partner on out-of-home elements.)

The two calls to action—a SmileCode and voice-activation suggestion “Alexa, ask Jurassic World what’s inside the box?”—worked perfectly for this campaign. Are you hoping this will help more brands see the potential for these tools?

One of the benefits for brands working with Amazon is the ability to leverage the breadth of our capabilities. For this execution, the SmileCode provided customers with a friction-free way to learn more about the box and the featured Jurassic World deals. The Jurassic World Revealed skill for Alexa let customers join the action by bringing the delivery experience directly to them–regardless of whether they were present at the event or at home.

Tell us about the interactive story driven by the Jurassic World Alexa skill. Was that something already in motion before this delivery stunt came about, or did it arise from the concept?
Alexa skills give brands like Universal another way to engage their customers with unique and compelling voice experiences. We connected with our Alexa Skills team to discuss how we could leverage the skill to bring our delivery stunt into our customers’ homes beyond LA and into the world of voice. The T-Rex “roar” from the Jurassic Park franchise is iconic and Alexa provided the perfect avenue for customers to engage with the experience through voice and audio. We also extended the experience through the new interactive audio adventure that will be available through the Jurassic World Revealed skill later this month

People just seem riveted by a massive Amazon box. We saw this back in 2014 with the mysterious Nissan Versa deliveries, and then in my hometown of Birmingham when large boxes were created to lure Amazon HQ2. What is it about a giant delivery box that gets people so fascinated?
Well, there’s a natural element of curiosity–wondering “what could possibly be in that box?”—but we’d like to think it’s also because of how customers feel when they actually receive an Amazon box on their doorstep. We obsess over making that delivery and everything leading up to it a great experience for our customers, and these boxes represent that on a massive scale.

What do you hope other potential brand partners take away from this stunt? How would you encourage their creative teams to think about incorporating Amazon into their big ideas?
Most simply, that we’re open to any idea that’s tied to a great customer experience. We’re always ready to come to the table for these types of collaborations, and always thinking about the next innovative thing we can do based on the breadth of our assets and our creative and media capabilities. Our advertising customers are broad. We are fortunate to collaborate with brands who sell things on Amazon and those who do not.