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Amazon - Staggering Scale of Production
Amazon Prime Day 2019

If there's one thing Hornet’s work with Amazon has always been about, it's magnitude of scale. Because, when it comes to scale, it doesn’t get much bigger than Amazon Prime Day—the largest sales event of the year for the world’s third largest company. 

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Given Prime Day's importance, it makes sense that promo campaigns supporting its annual launch would need to achieve comparably sizable magnitude in terms of both production and impact. From the tiniest details of craft to the biggest of global rollouts, this full-dimensional scale is what has defined the relationship between Hornet and Amazon over the last four years.

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In 2016, Amazon approached Hornet to create content for their second-ever Prime Day event. The ask was to visualize a world built around the Amazon box. It was a campaign that needed to dive deeply into the Amazon brand ethos, capture the sprawling diversity of Prime Day deals in a fun, relatable way, and ultimately be propagated across dozens of different countries with a TVC spot and other digital assets for essentially every existing media platform. The result was a Prime Day 2016 so successful that it led to one of the biggest sales events in the history of retail. With each consecutive year since, sales numbers have only continued to exceed the previous year’s event.

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The concept design all started with a box: the Amazon shipping box. From here, the basic foundation swelled into a textured universe of paper and cardboard that’s anything but “inside the box.” Through the juxtaposed use of different colors, forms, and proportions, Hornet director Peter Sluszka brought the Prime Day world to life with obsessively detailed fabrication and stop motion animation. This world has a whimsical, graphic edge to it, and there’s a tangible charm and authenticity that comes with using actual paper.

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Making of Prime Day 2017

The Prime Day worlds have always been centered around papercraft stop motion campaigns. Executing in this medium is an inherently intensive process, both in terms of time and resources. Each campaign can take multiple months to complete. Dozens of artists and fabricators are required. And, of course, the amount of materials used can be enormous. (The 2019 campaign, for instance, used a whopping 1,000 x-acto blades and enough cardboard to reach the height of the Empire State Building if lined up edge to edge.)

Stop motion is also a medium that requires vast reservoirs of patience, a commitment to craft, and a love for detail. Luckily, these are qualities that the Hornet team is in no short supply of, and when combined with access to our own 5,000 square foot stage and fabrication studio, this gives us the experience and resources to meet challenging schedule demands.

deliverables per campaign
country propagation
years in a row with Amazon

In the last four years, the Hornet team has produced a seam-busting swathe of assets for the Prime Day campaigns. With each campaign, the first order of execution has always been the television commercial. From here, it extends across social platforms and then to print. The final number of deliverables typically exceeds 200 assets after translations are done. In addition to providing complete spots, Hornet also provides a tool kit of assets that can be used by in-house designers to further exploit and extend the creative.

Amazon Prime Day 2017
Amazon Prime Day 2018
US Dollars for Prime Day 2019
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Hours. Prime Day is now a 2-day event

Utilizing in-camera, stop-motion techniques, the spots have maintained a consistent and cohesive thread over the years that makes them instantly recognizable and associated with Prime Day. While the concepts and physical environments have changed—from the city of "Boxtropolis" to an "Epic Parade of Deals"—the same whimsical yet contemporary quality has remained. The papercraft visuals extend to the caricatures, cars, landmarks, and even the Corgi mascot. The end result is a perfect blend of storytelling and handcrafted artistry.

Making of Amazon Prime Day 2018

After four years of successful Prime Day campaigns, we’ve learned that when you’re able to forge a working relationship built on trust and familiarity, there are minimal limits to the worlds that can be created. We've also gained invaluable confidence in our team's ability to pull off campaigns of any size or scale—even the monumental ones, especially the monumental ones. 

Making of Amazon Prime Day 2019