November 18, 2016 Last Updated 3:33 pm

Amazon’s holiday ad has editors cautious about opening up the reader comments

With comment threads often filled with trolls and provocateurs, it is rare that a majority of editors agree on opening or closing comments on any one story, but not this time

The comments thread, on or off? That is the question many editors ask themselves today as they are about to hit “post” on a new story. Sadly, some newspapers have made attracting right-wing comments part of their strategy to boost overall traffic, while others have decided that discussions have gotten so heat, and often off-topic, that they have shut them down altogether.

Sometimes, surely not intentionally, a story runs across a number of media websites and the decision is unanimous, turn off the comments.

Amazon’s new holiday ad is one of those times when it appears as if editors agree that there is no reason to ruin a good story with ugly comments. Here is the commercial:

Here is what the media is saying about Amazon’s effort:

GeekWire:

Jeff Bezos tweets his love for touching Amazon ad showing friendship between priest and imam

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos doesn’t tweet a lot, but on Thursday he was moved to share a new television commercial for Amazon Prime and praise the ad team behind the concept.

The ad, which was just uploaded to YouTube, shows two friends getting together for a cup of tea. One of the men is a priest and the other is an imam. There is no dialogue as the two men are shown hugging hello and chatting. After some time, both men struggle to stand from a seated position and then they hug goodbye.

Moments later, the men are both on their phones using Amazon to order gifts for one another. Watch the ad to see what the gifts were and how the men used them.

Creativity:

Unlikely Advertising Stars Deliver a Powerful Message

Aware of the sensitivity of the subject matter, Amazon consulted with the Interfaith Alliance, the National Council of Churches, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the Christian & Muslim Forum, the Church of England and the Muslim Council of Britain during the making of the ad.

Directed by Simon Ratigan through HLA, the spot — whose actors are a practicing vicar and the principal of a Muslim school — will be shown on TV in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Austria.

A statement from Amazon said, “To date, our Prime advertisements have celebrated everyday heroes — telling stories of people who realize they can do something clever to help a loved one and use Amazon Prime to save the day. Our new advertisement follows this theme.”

CNet:

Amazon confronts Trump’s view of the US head on

Donald Trump doesn’t seem enamored of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Earlier this year, he threatened that, should he become president, Amazon will face “such problems.” He believes, you see, that Bezos bought the Washington Post in order to get political influence for his company.

Oddly, now that Trump is president-elect, Amazon has released an ad that features something that many believe Trump would like to control or even exile: a Muslim.

Fortune:

Watch the Amazon Ad That Tries to Heal America

It’s notable that Amazon issued the ad, given the contentious relationship between the company’s CEO Jeff Bezos and President-elect Trump.

Over the last year, Bezos and Trump have traded barbs. Trump has taken aim at Amazon’s business and tax practices, said the company has “a huge antitrust problem,” and has suggested that Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, bought the news outlet in 2013 for political power.

Bezos has largely remained silent in the face of Trump’s tirades, but in May said Trump’s comments were “not an appropriate way for a presidential candidate to behave.”

Evening Standard:

Amazon Prime Christmas advert described as ‘best yet’ after John Lewis and M&S efforts

(No story, just the headline with the video underneath)

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