Amazon Dash: A Panic Button For Toilet Paper, Diapers, Coffee, And More

The reveal of Amazon’s latest gadget — the Amazon Dash Button — had many wondering if the internet giant was playing an early April Fools’ Day joke. The branded buttons, which were introduced Tuesday, allow customers to restock toilet paper, and other household must-haves at the touch of a physical button.

The small WiFi device has an adhesive backing or clip and is designed to be place in convenient places throughout the home. It allows you to instantly order as soon as you see you’re running low on something. The coffee button can be placed on the coffee maker; the baby wipes button in the nursery; the mac & cheese button on the pantry door, and so on. The buttons are available only for certain brands — Tide, Cottonelle, Huggies, L’Oreal, Izzie, and Larabar, to name a few. Currently, Amazon Dash Buttons are being released only to Prime members by invitation. Members can request an invite online.

No worries if your little one finds a button and presses it a hundred times. Dash has a built in safety system to ensure orders will only go through once. The item cannot be reordered until the initial one has been delivered. Dash Buttons are set up using the Amazon smartphone app, where customers can also adjust the size and quantity of the items they want. After an order is placed, a notice will be sent to your phone giving you a window of time to change your mind and cancel. If not cancelled, the order will be sent via the typical Prime two-day shipping.

According to the New York Times, Amazon has confirmed the Dash Buttons are a real product — not an April Fools gag. In an attempt to integrate itself more fully into the lives of consumers, Amazon wants them to be able to, “Place It. Press It. Get It.” Some marketing experts feel the timing of the somewhat outlandish Internet-of-Things gadget was brilliant. David E. Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision LLC, a PR and branding agency, told AdWeek why it was genius.

“Despite this [confusion], it is a stroke of genius the way it was introduced. People are talking about Amazon Dash, including people who would not normally be doing so. More importantly, this attention that Amazon Dash is getting is no doubt leading people to check it out on Amazon and also check out the Amazon Prime program that it is offered through.”

New dad and creative director at Brandfire, Adam Padilla, feels the same.

“The April Fools’ strategy was great. At first, you wondered whether it was real. And then when you find out it is, it’s like a gift from God. It essentially replaces that panic button, where you are like, ‘Oh s**t, I am almost out of diapers.’ To know you can press the button and the diapers will drop-ship the next day—it’s like a button out of the future. Maybe I am drinking the Kool-Aid. But I think it’s obviously very smart and also has practical use cases.”

So, will you be putting a toilet paper panic button by your potty? Are you drinking the Amazon Dash Kool-Aid, or thinking it’s ridiculous?

[Image by Amazon/Facebook]