Amazon.com Debuts Interactive Web Films

NEW YORK Web retailer Amazon.com today begins a short-film series on its Web site created by Fallon. The films, which star Minnie Driver, Darryl Hannah and Chris Noth, among others, feature interactive credits, which link back to Amazon, where consumers can purchase the products and clothing seen in the programs.

The first film, Portrait, is directed by RSA’s Jordan Scott and debuts today on Amazon.com. It stars Driver as a dictatorial boss who pushes around her assistant Esther. When Esther goes to a photography session for her birthday, however, she’s magically transformed into a beauty, shedding pounds instantly and becoming glamorous. Sephora bath and beauty aids, Nokia and Motorola phones and BCBG clothes are among the products featured in the film.

“What we hope [the campaign] does is add another dimension to Amazon, that it draws attention to the fact that there’s so much more to Amazon than just books and CDs,” said Bruce Bildsten, creative director at Fallon, who became involved in the project during the editing stages after cd David Lubars left in June. “And like BMW Films [which Fallon and RSA also created], it does it without hitting you over the head.”

The films, which range in length from four to seven minutes, will debut each week through Dec. 7. Director Tony Scott’s Agent Orange, which will premiere next Tuesday, is an “edgy, stylistic” film with no dialogue, according to Bildsten. David Slade’s Do Geese See God? will go up on Nov. 23. Jake Scott’s Tooth Fairy, a comedy with Noth as a father searching for a tooth hidden by his daughter, will begin play on Nov. 30. Acne’s Careful What You Wish For, which stars Hannah and is about “a bad guy getting what he deserves,” Bildsten said, breaks last on Dec. 7.

A broad range of RSA and Fallon staffers contributed to the project. Portrait was conceived by art directors David Carter and Mike Smith and copywriters Greg Hahn and Christopher Toland. The story was developed by director Scott and Fallon interactive lead Eric Frost. Executive producers were RSA’s Jules Daly and Fallon’s Brian DiLorenzo. RSA producer was Fran McGivern, who also provided the voiceover, and Fallon’s Brigette Whisnant.

Amazon.com, based in Seattle, spent about $6 million on advertising in 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.