Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Amazon, LivingSocial Bring Back the Bubble! Or at Least the Awesome "Volume" SNL Ad

Let’s be clear: LivingSocial’s “$10 for a $20 Amazon credit” deal today will probably work out to be pretty smart.

For starters, it’s getting everyone–or at least everyone I pay attention to on Twitter*–to talk about LivingSocial. (Groupon who?) And given that Amazon has already handed over a big chunk of money to the daily deals start-up, this sort of seems like the two sides are just swapping dollars, anyway.

Still, this gives us an excellent opportunity to rerun the classic “Saturday Night Live” Bubble 1.0 ad, which didn’t even run during the first bubble. It dates way, way back to 1988. And technically, it’s not about a money-losing operation, but one that doesn’t make any money (at least on a per-transaction basis).

Still, the “the answer is simple: volume” catchphrase became one of the signature lines of the Kozmo.com, Pets.com, etc. era a decade later. And it seems like we may have to revive it again.

Bonus clip! Here’s the first one of the ads. Catchphrase-free, but still awesome.


*An admittedly small subset of the world. But still.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald