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In honour of their 20th birthday, Amazon have declared today to be Amazon Prime Day and are celebrating in a big way with a 24 hour global sales extravaganza billed as having even more bargains up for grabs than Black Friday. With exclusive member-only deals available on everything from toys and video games, to movies and books, this huge online shopping event is aimed at tempting us to open our wallets and bag a bargain.

Although veiled as a huge birthday party for Amazon, it is clear this is a cleverly conceived and well executed marketing push to increase Amazon Prime membership numbers; cue the 30 day free trial. Market research shows that financial incentive and free delivery are two of the top five online purchase drivers for Amazon visitors and it’s no coincidence that these factors feature heavily within this campaign. They have also been strategic in the countries they have selected to hold today’s sales event. They all feature in their list of top 10 countries for monthly visitors. With this combination of market insights and impressive planning and execution, their engaging campaign should deliver a fantastic ROI.

Clearly feeling a little threatened by the inevitable impact that Amazon Prime Day will have on their own sales figures, retail giant Walmart recently announced its plans to take the wind out of Amazons sails. In a bid to compete, they are offering their members a whole host of price cuts as well as a drop in the minimum order requirement for free shipping. Walmart aren’t alone in their response. Target also plan to host a summer sale and have announced their own ‘Black Friday in July’ event. However it seems these two retail giants were caught somewhat on the hop with only days in which to plan their response to the Prime Day announcement on Monday 6 July. Even the most efficient retail marketers would be hard pushed to plan and execute a campaign that could rival Amazon’s well-constructed and strategic integrated marketing campaign with such little time!

As you have probably already encountered, Amazon Prime Day is being promoted through a well-crafted and impactful integrated campaign comprising of TV adverts, digital advertising, social media and my personal favourite – user-generated content – in the form of competitions. On closer investigation of some of the facets of their campaign, I discovered this brilliant ‘Bigger than Black Friday’ Amazon sponsored song on YouTube in which the event is hailed as ‘Christmas in July’ in quite a comedic fashion. The Facebook page has received over a whopping 25 million likes and the Facebook event provides updates about the plethora of deals to a list of over 165,000 attendees.

Also in conjunction with the day, Amazon are running a #PrimeLiving photo competition in which they ask members to submit a photo of themselves practicing ‪#‎PrimeLiving to be in with a chance to win a $10,000 Amazon.com Gift Card. There’s even a ‘What’s your prime personality quiz’ which entices entrants to enter and win $2,000 in Amazon.com gift cards. All in all, they would appear to have pulled off a wholly impressively 360° integrated campaign which in conjunction with some savage price slashing is bound to leave consumers begging for an Amazon Prime Day 2016.

With experts predicting that today’s extravaganza will bring about a new era of manufactured shopping days and with several retail giants already getting on board the band wagon, it is clear there are interesting times ahead for both online retailers and the creative bods fashioning the marketing campaigns.

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