5W PR CEO - Amazon Public Relations - Political PR

Maybe the concept began as just another “clever” sight gag. Two aging religious leaders, a priest and an imam are sharing tea time. The guys are clearly friends, and they’re clearly aging. At one point in the commercial both guys pull out their smartphones and go to the Amazon app. They search, they click and they order. Days pass and the priest and the imam receive their packages. Knee braces. Haha.

Outfitted with the knee braces, the guys are free to worship as they please in relative comfort, thanks, apparently, to the Amazon app. That’s it. That’s all. It’s a cute message about how all people at one point or another have knees that hurt. It’s something we all have in common.

Some folks are taking it differently, saying the real message of the commercial is a shot across the bow in the escalating back and forth between Donald Trump and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Trump fired the first shots, unleashing a Twitter barrage directed at Bezos last year. The messages were ostensibly about business, but they were also personal. Trump repeatedly accused Bezos of buying the Washington Post simply to argue for lower taxes and less regulation on Amazon. Then Trump said Bezos was using the Post as a vehicle to publish nasty articles about Trump to keep him out of the White House.

During an episode of Hannity, Trump took his tweets to a national TV audience. “(The Post) is a toy for Jeff Bezos … Amazon is getting away with murder taxwise. He’s using The Washington Post for power so that the politicians in Washington don’t tax Amazon like they should be taxed.”

Bezos, who’s not exactly known to be too chatty on Twitter, didn’t counterattack, saying next to nothing about Trump’s tweets. Countless articles were written about how a Trump presidency would be bad for Amazon. Someone was listening, the company’s stock is down since the election results were announced. Whether it will rebound is up for literal speculation at this point, but it appears the feud between Bezos and Trump is more real than a social media spat.

This could go south for Amazon. Trump is notoriously quick to drop the hammer when he can, and Bezos is not known for backing down from a challenge. Still, this is no longer a couple of rich guys taking a dislike to each other. This is now about a massive American business running afoul of the President-elect.

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