Amazon Debuts Short Film Series for Holidays

E-tailer Amazon.com launched an original short film series, produced by Ridley and Tony Scott’s production company and starring well-known actors. To create “Amazon Theater,” the company teamed with Fallon Worldwide, which orchestrated BMW’s groundbreaking online film series, for the holiday promotion.

Chase, and specifically the Chase-issued Amazon Platinum Visa card, is the official series sponsor. The card is featured within the Amazon Theater experience, and cardholders get additional reward points when they buy film-related content. They also get access to exclusive “backstage” content related to the films.

The effort furthers Amazon’s content-as-marketing initiative, which has it offering original content, often in conjunction with celebrities, in a push to engage site users. Last holiday season, the company hosted a two month long promotion featuring original content by authors, musicians, actors and other celebrities. This year, the films will be promoted on Amazon’s front page.

“It’s a great example of Amazon’s relentless commitment to finding new and innovative ways to surprise and delight customers and deliver an unparalleled online experience,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO.

Amazon Theater will consist of five original films. “Portrait,” the initial film starring Minnie Driver, is up now. A new title debuts each Tuesday for the next several weeks. Other films include “Agent Orange,” “Do Geese See God?,” “Tooth Fairy,” and “Careful What You Wish For.” While none has a holiday theme, the company says all share a karmic “what goes around comes around” moral.

“Amazon Theater films are different, quirky, odd, funny, sweet, touching, affecting little stories that capture moments in time with different people,” said Tony Scott, who directed “Agent Orange.”

As the credits roll on each film, users are presented with various links to other places on the Amazon.com site. Each actor and director will have a “boutique” on Amazon.com, where people can buy items associated with the individual, or donate to their designated charities. Actors involved include Daryl Hannah, Chris Noth and Blair Underwood. Products that appear in the films will also be linked, so viewers can buy the featured furniture, apparel, cosmetics, electronics and jewelry.

To kick off the film series, Amazon is hosting a Hollywood-style premiere event in Los Angeles tonight. Attendees will see a sneak preview of the film that debuts next week.

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