Amazon Debuts Holiday Promotion

Amazon.com Monday launched a two-month celebrity-driven promotion on its Web site, in an effort to draw visitors during the key holiday shopping season.

The Seattle-based e-tail giant has largely eschewed offline advertising in favor of online ads, affiliate marketing and free shipping offers, so the promotion is consistent with its longstanding philosophy.

In this case, Amazon hasn’t paid the celebrities, which include musician Bruce Springsteen, author Dan Brown, actor Michael J. Fox, and Sopranos’ producer David Chase. Each will provide exclusive content — such as backstage footage, e-books, and original art — to Amazon.com for distribution on the site. Many of those featured have products available for purchase on Amazon, while others are promoting charitable causes. One celebrity will be featured each day between November 3 and January 1, with 60 celebrities participating.

While Amazon.com won’t promote the content other than on its own site, the promotion gets front-page placement. The company says the celebrities have also pitched in to tell their own fans.

“A lot of the artists have decided to email their fan bases and post information on their Web sites,” said Emily Glassman, entertainment publicist at Amazon.com. “We also think word of mouth is going to be very important on this.”

Although Amazon has, in recent months, expanded into areas such as gourmet foods, sporting goods and apparel, most of the celebrities announced thus far come from the worlds in which Amazon has its roots — books, videos, and music.

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