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Amazon Prime Air is a next-generation product delivery service proposed by the online retailer company Amazon that would use unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver small packages within 30 minutes from its warehouse to the address location. After the service was announced in November 2013, it quickly became a target of parodies and science-fiction infused jokes on Twitter and elsewhere online.
On December 1st, 2013, the Amazon Prime Air drone-based delivery system was announced by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on the American television news program 60 Minutes as a service in development which can ship any product weighing five pounds or less to a customer within a 10 mile radius in less than 30 minutes. The same day, the online retailer released a promotional video featuring a drone test flight on YouTube (shown below). In the first 72 hours, the video gained over 7.9 million views and 6,800 comments.
On June 3rd, 2013, the Domino’s Pizza restaurant chain released a video showing an unmanned aerial vehicle delivering a pizza to the walkway of a residential home (shown below). In the following six months, the video gathered more than 1.45 million views and 1,200 comments.
On December 1st, 2013, Redditor suckingalemon posted the Amazon Prime Air promotional video to the /r/videos subreddit, where it received upwards of 24,100 up votes and 4,000 comments in the next 48 hours. The same day, comedy blogger Tim Siedell tweeted a “that awkward moment” joke about an Amazon drone, the @AmazonDrone Twitter feed was launched and several Twitter users posted photoshopped images featuring Amazon drones.
That awkward moment when your Amazon delivery drone just hovers there, waiting for a tip.— Tim Siedell (@badbanana) December 2, 2013
No, I won't bring you tacos, stop asking.
— Amazon Drone (@AmazonDrone) December 2, 2013
— Leon Zandman (@leonzandman) December 2, 2013
On December 2nd, the marketing blog HubSpot published an article about Amazon’s announcement, which accused Prime Air of being an elaborate promotion for the Cyber Monday online sales event. The same day, YouTuber FinalCutKing uploaded a parody video for a service which delivers packages via rockets within five minutes (shown below).
Also on December 2nd, Redditor cheeseypoofs_ftw posted an Insanity Wolf image macro to the /r/AdviceAnimals subreddit about Amazon using missiles to deliver packages (shown below, left). In the first 24 hours, the post gathered over 1,900 up votes and 20 comments. On December 3rd, Redditor fish500 submitted an image macro to /r/AdviceAnimals, joking that his cat would destroy drones landing on his property (shown below, right). In the following nine hours, the post accumulated more than 28,500 up votes and 900 comments.
60 Mins devotes show to "concept" that's: 1. Currently illegal 2. Involves sending 1000s of spinning blades thru residential communities— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) December 2, 2013
So many problems with Amazon drones. How will they navigate the various FAA regs, hackers, populated areas, crashes, giants nets, etc.?
— Drones (@drones) December 2, 2013
Bezos news really overshadowed the White House’s announcement that Obamacare insurance cards will be delivered by Segway sometime in 2023.
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) December 2, 2013
Driverless trucks unload at warehouses sorted by robots to ship Chinese-made goods by unmanned drones to the last middle class family.
— Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) December 2, 2013