You may be familiar with the saga of the Amazon Kindle Bikini Girl, a character who has been appearing in commercials for Amazon’s popular e-reader for the last several years, most of which have included subtle or overt shots at Apple’s rival iPad.
The first ad, in 2010, featured the bikini-clad lady, played by former NBA dancer Anna Zielinski, lounging poolside, telling an interested gentleman that she paid more for her sunglasses than for the then-$179 Kindle.
The ad, according to a CBS News blog post at the time, “plunged the nation into civil war,” over whether or not Bikini Girl was likable. Adfreak described her at the time as “a snooty ice queen who brags about her frugality and flaunts her wasteful consumerism,” although the commercial got millions of views on YouTube:
The campaign returned last February, at the time that Amazon launched three separate Kindles. This time, another interested gentleman approaches Bikini Girl, who points out that she has one Kindle for herself and two others for two of her children- and that altogether, the three cost less than the man’s iPad. When he asks whether anyone has that seat, she replies “my husband.”
Now, in the new ad, another gentleman is seated on the beach next to our still-bikini-clad super-reader. She again mentions her husband- leading into a surprise punchline that isn’t going to be such a hit with the American Family Association:
Must be a relief for Bikini Girl, to not get hit on at the beach for once.
It’s sort of refreshing that such an ad can run and not be especially controversial, something I couldn’t have imagined as recently as five years ago. Amazon has a reputation as a very gay-friendly company and CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife donated $2.5 million to a successful campaign last year to legalize same-sex marriage in Amazon’s home state of Washington.