Amazon and the invention of the social image washing machine

Amazon Image Ad. Source: Süddeutsche Zeitung 28.11.2020. Translation: I have not spoken a word of German. When I arrived here from Syria, I did not understand anyone. I had to start from zero. That was hard. But I managed it.
I really always wanted to improve – for myself and for my family. Here at Amazon I have the feeling that I can always develop. I am trusted to teach others, to help others. Being a refugee was very difficult, but now I am an instructor at Amazon.
Mohanad, Mönchengladbach.

On Saturday Amazon gave me a push to write another article about advertisements. Before you continue reading, please take a look at the photo and read the text more carefully. Doesn’t this automatically make you wonder and critically question whether this portrayal of the company as a highly social enterprise is really credible? Overall, this ad is not badly made, but it does leave a slightly irritating impression. Why?

In my opinion, the company has exaggerated a bit too much or has sent the whole issue through a rather pink filter. In my opinion, a very important clue is missing. The cornerstone of almost all careers is an employee’s ability to perform and work as part of a team. Those who produce results and integrate themselves positively into a social environment, rise up. But this is not what this advertisement is about, only the willingness of the employee to improve. This willingness in all honour, but it is only the prerequisite for a career, not the guarantor. Probably the harsh reality would not have fitted the positive presentation of the employee’s personality. But it would have been more honest, because in the perception of the population, American companies tend to stand for a practiced, sometimes hard performance principle.

In addition, the reporting on the company and on Jeff Bezos in recent years has led to Amazon’s rather negative image: monopolist, opponents of trade unions, harsh working conditions, etc. In my opinion, it is precisely this contrast that is responsible for the irritating impression. Therefore it would have been more credible and honest if Amazon had added here that everybody can become something if they really perform.