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Even Greed Can't Excuse Amazon's Atrocious Prime Member Shopping Horoscopes

Illustration for article titled Even Greed Cant Excuse Amazons Atrocious Prime Member Shopping Horoscopes
Photo: Getty

It appears not even our goddamn horoscopes are free from the targeted marketing of Jeff Bezos and his e-commerce monstrosity Amazon.

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According to Fast Company, the company has been shipping monthly horoscopes to its Prime members in its Insider newsletter. Its horoscopes program—let’s just call it what it is, shall we?—has evidently been live for months. If you, dear reader, have been blissfully unaware of this hair-brained concept, Amazon states on its horoscopes page that readers can consult the readings to identify “which Prime benefits are predicted to pair best with your Zodiac sign!”

Take this month’s horoscope for Capricorn, for example, which I understand to be Bezos’ own zodiac sign. It starts off with an otherwise innocuous call for critical thought and ends with a plug for Prime Now so out of place with respect to the preceding words that it’s jarring:

Spock is your spirit animal this month, dear Capricorn. Following your intuition too closely will only get you into trouble; instead, stick to logic, weigh out every option’s pros and cons, and carefully plan each move. Looking before leaping takes more time than blindly diving, so save time (and money) with Prime Now.

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Here’s another for Pisces:

You can’t expect people to read your mind, dear Pisces. Take a cue from those birds chirp-chirping outside your window and express yourself. More than that, be clear about what you want, then ask for it kindly and directly, without worrying about ruffling anyone’s feathers. You can practice clear communication and fulfilling desire through Amazon Restaurants.

Perhaps this is an incredibly dumb joke, as Fast Company noted. Actually, it’s almost certainly a dumb joke. But it’s one that Amazon is sticking with and appears to believe actually has some marketing value. It’s the lowest effort targeted marketing possible. It personalizes the shopping experience into a vague recommendation that’s personal to you and the other 1/12th of Amazon shoppers who share your birth month. It’s like advertising before the advent of algorithms, cookies, newsfeeds, and purchase histories.

Actually, the more I think about it, this should be Amazon’s entire marketing strategy. Forget everything I said before. Just do this and none of the other stuff.

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Whatever its purpose, there’s no denying that these “horoscopes” are spectacularly bad. If you want to get a real horoscope, try our Divination Bot that has thus far shown 100 percent accuracy in all its predictions.

[Fast Company]

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DISCUSSION

For the record, I think you mean to say “harebrained”. Although both having a brain consisting of hair and having one that, for whatever bizarre reason, sprouted hair, would unquestionably result in limited or nonexistent cognitive capacity, that condition is more evocatively described by “having the mentality of a hare”.