A very crafty ad at Amazon gives shoppers the sense that Saucony has been chosen by Amazon as the retailer’s “Best Men’s Road Running Shoe.” There’s just enough ambiguity in the claim (and how it’s presented) to communicate that Amazon is calling the Saucony the “best” — when on closer examination the claim seems to belong to Saucony. Yet when you’re on the Amazon homepage and the big ads are cycling through at the top and the text reads “our best” it sure does seem like that’s Amazon making a selection. Hey, the adjacent ad is for the Amazon Echo with a nearby ad for an Amazon Music Original — The Pop Ups. So Amazon is clearly carefully curating the space. (Not everyone will see the Saucony ad, of course, it’s a data-driven show.)
But considering that the Men’s Running Shoe category at Amazon offers 18,060 results, an Amazon declaration that Saucony is its best choice is unlikely. Amazon is presumably just as interested in selling ASICS, Adidas, Brooks and Nike. But it’s a very well-thought out digital ad by Saucony, fully enabled by Amazon. Saucony may very well be the Best Men’s Road Running Shoe for sale at the Western world’s largest retailer — Saucony makes truly excellent shoes worn by some of the world’s great runners like U.S. Olympian Duane Solomon. But that’s Saucony saying it’s their best shoe; that’s not Amazon’s conclusion.