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Amazon Fulfillment Center Locations: The Ultimate List

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Amazon Fulfillment Center Locations: The Ultimate List

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a program where Amazon stores, packs, ships, and handles customer service for the products you sell on Amazon. FBA gives you the ability to sell products on Amazon Prime.

Fulfillment by Amazon is a good option for merchants who are looking to increase shipping time and reduce time and money allotted to fulfillment. Amazon sellers can rely on Amazon as their logistics partner, rather than having to create their own fulfillment process or search for a third-party logistics (3PL) provider. 

Learn more about how Amazon FBA works in our Amazon FBA Guide for Brands.

 

How does Amazon choose where their warehouses are located?

 

Amazon chooses the locations for its warehouses (often referred to as fulfillment centers) through a strategic process that takes into account several factors. These factors include proximity to customers, transportation infrastructure, workforce availability, supplier access, real estate cost, market demand, and so much more. 

 

How many fulfillment centers does Amazon have?

 

Amazon had hundreds of fulfillment centers worldwide. However, the exact number of fulfillment centers can change frequently as Amazon continues to expand its operations to meet customer demand and optimize its delivery network. 

Amazon currently has over 100 active fulfillment centers in the US and over 185 centers globally. Fulfillment center codes typically begin with the airport code for the nearest airport. 

“Brands and retailers can essentially outsource the ‘heavy lifting’ — the warehousing, logistics, and returns — to Amazon with the FBA program.”

– Meghan Andrade, Director of Business Development, Amazon & Marketplaces at Tinuiti

 

As of Q3 2023, here is a complete list of Amazon fulfillment center locations by country, state, and city. 

 

Amazon Fulfillment Centers Located in the US

 

Arizona

 

#PHX5 – 16920 W. Commerce Dr, Goodyear, AZ, 85338

​#PHX3 – 6835 W. Buckeye Rd, Phoenix, AZ, 85043

#PHX6 – 4750 W. Mohave St, Phoenix, AZ, 85043

#PHX7 & PHX8 – 800 N. 75th Ave, Phoenix, AZ, 85043

#PHX8 – 800 N. 75th Ave Phoenix, AZ, 85043 – Maricopa County

#PHX9 – 777 S 79th Ave, Tolleson, Arizona, 85353

 

California

 

#ONT3 – 1910 & 2020 E Central Ave. San Bernardino, CA, 92408 – San Bernardino County

#ONT4 – 1910 & 2020 E Central Ave. San Bernardino, CA, 92408 – San Bernardino County

#OAK3 – 255 Park Center Drive, Patterson City, CA 95363-8876

#OAK4 – 1555 N. Chrisman Road, Tracy, CA 95304-9370

#OAK5 – 38811 Cherry Street, Newark, CA 94560

#OAK6 – 38811 Cherry Street, Newark, California, 94560-4939

#OAK7 – 38811 Cherry St, Newark, CA 94560

#ONT2 – 1910 E Central Ave, San Bernardino, CA 92408, United States

#ONT5 – 2020 E Central Avenue, Southgate Building 4, San Bernardino, CA 92408-2606

#ONT6 – 24208 San Michele, Moreno Valley, CA 92551

#ONT8 – 24300 Nandina Ave., Moreno Valley, California, 92551-9534

#ONT9 – 2125 W San Bernardino Ave, Redlands, CA, United States

#XUSD – 1909 Zephyr Street, Stockton, CA 95206

 

Connecticut

 

#BDL1 – 801 Day Hill Road Windsor, CT 06095

 

Delaware

 

#PHL7 – 560 Merrimac Ave, Middletown, DE 19709

#PHL1 – 1 Centerpoint Blvd, New Castle, DE 19720

 

Florida

 

#MCO5 – 305 Deen Still Rd Davenport, FL 33897-9409

#MIA5 – 1900 NW 132nd Place, Doral, FL, 33182

#TPA1 – 351 30th Street NE, Ruskin, FL 33570

#TPA2 – 1760 County Line Road, Lakeland, FL 33811

#XUSF – 901 West Landstreet Road Suite C, Orlando, FL 32824

 

Georgia

 

#ATL6 – 4200 N Commerce Dr, East Point, GA 30344

 

Idaho

 

#BOI2 – 5319 E Franklin Rd, Nampa, ID 83687

 

Indiana

 

#IND1 – 4255 Anson Boulevard, Whitestown, IN 46075

#IND2 – 715 Airtech Parkway, Plainfield, IN 46168

#IND3 – 717 Airtech Parkway, Plainfield, IN 46168

#IND4 – 710 South Girls School Road, Indianapolis, IN 46214

#IND5 – 800 S Perry Road, Plainfield, IN 46168

#IND9 – 1151 S GRAHAM RD, Greenwood, Indiana, US

#SDF8 – 900 Patrol Road, Jeffersonville, IN 47130

#XUSE – 5100 S Indianapolis Road, Whitestown, IN 46075

 

Kansas

 

#MCI5 – 16851 W 113th St, Lenexa, KS 66219

 

Kentucky

 

#CVG1 – 1155 Worldwide Blvd. Hebron, KY 41048

#CVG2 – 1600 Worldwide Blvd. Hebron, KY 41048

#CVG3 – 3680 Langley Drive, Hebron, KY 41048

#CVG5 – 2285 Litton Ln, Hebron, KY 41048, United States

#CVG7 – 2285 Litton Ln, Hebron, KY 41048, United States

#CVG8 – 7968 Kentucky Dr, Suites 23, Florence, Kentucky 41042 , Boone County

#LEX1 – 1850 Mercer Road, Lexington, KY 40511

#LEX2 – 172 Trade Street, Lexington, Kentucky 40511

#SDF1 – 1105 S Columbia Avenue, Campbellsville, KY 42718

#SDF2 – 4360 Robards Lane, Louisville, KY 40218

#SDF4 – 376 Zappos.com Boulevard, Shepherdesville, KY 40165

#SDF6 – 271 Omega Parkway, Shepherdsville, KY 40165

#SDF7 – 300 Omicron Court, Shepherdsville, KY 40165

#SDF9 – 100 W. Thomas P. Echols Lane, Shepherdsville, KY 40165

 

 

Maryland

 

BWI5 – 5501 Holabird Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224

 

Massachusetts

 

#BOS5 – 1000 Technology Center Dr, Stoughton, MA 02072

 

Minnesota

 

#MSP5 – 5825 11th Avenue East, Shakopee, MN 55379

   

Nevada

 

#LAS2 – 3837 Bay Lake Trail Suite 115, North Las Vegas, NV 89030

#RNO4 – 8000 N Virginia St, Reno, NV 89506
 

New Hampshire

 

#BOS1 – 10 State St Nashua, NH 03063

 

New Jersey

 

#ACY5 – 2277 Center Square Road, Swedesboro, Logan Township, NJ 08085

#EWR4 – 50 New Canton Way, Robbinsville, NJ 08691

#EWR5 – 301 Blair Road #100, Avenel, NJ 07001

#EWR6 – 275 Omar Avenue, Avenel, NJ 07001

#EWR7 – 275 Omar Avenue, Avenel, NJ 07001

#EWR8 – 698 US-46, Teterboro, NJ 07608

 

New York

 

#JFK7 – 7 W. 34th St., New York, NY 10001

 

North Carolina

 

#CTL5 – 1745 Derita Rd, Concord, NC 28027

 

Pennsylvania

 

#ABE2 – 705 Boulder Drive, Breinigsville, PA 18031

#ABE3 – 650 Boulder Drive, Breinigsville, PA 18031

# AVP1 – 550 Oak Ridge Road, Hazleton, PA 18202

#DPH1 – 4219 Richmond Street, Philadelphia, PA 19137

#MDT1 – 2 Ames Drive, Carlisle, PA 17015

#PHL4 – 21 Roadway Drive, Carlisle, PA 17015

#PHL5 – 500 McCarthy Drive, Lewisberry, PA 17339

#PHL6 – 675 Allen Road, Carlisle, PA 17015

#PHL9 – 2 Ames Drive, Carlisle, PA 17015

#PIT5 – 2250 Roswell Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15205

#XUSC – 40 Logistics Drive, Carlisle, PA 17013

#XUSG – 9645 West Hills Court, Kutztown, PA 19530
 

South Carolina

 

#GSP1 – 402 John Dodd Rd, Spartanburg, SC 29303

#CAE1 – 4400 12th St Extension, West Columbia, SC 29172

 

Tennessee

 

#BNA1 – 14840 Central Pike, Lebanon, TN 37090 – Wilson County

#BNA2 – 500 Duke Dr, Lebanon, TN 37090 – Wilson County

#BNA3 – 2020 Joe B Jackson Pkwy, Murfreesboro, TN 37127

#BNA5 – 50 Airways Blvd, Nashville, TN 37217

#CHA1 – 7200 Discovery Drive, Chattanooga, TN 37416

#CHA2 – 225 Infinity Drive NW, Charleston, TN 37310
 

Texas

 

#DFW6 – 940 W Bethel Road, Coppell, TX 75019-4424

#DFW7 – 700 Westport Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177-4513

#DFW8 – 2700 Regent Boulevard, DFW Airport, TX 75261

#DFW9 – 2700 Regent Blvd, Irving, TX 75063

#HOU1 – 8120 Humble Westfield Road, Humble, TX 77338

#SAT1 – 6000 Enterprise Avenue, Schertz, TX 78154

#XUSB – 14900 Frye Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155

 

Virginia

 

#RIC2 – 1901 Meadowville Technology Pkwy Chester, VA 23836

#RIC1 – 5000 Commerce Way, Petersburg, VA 23803

#BWI1 – 45121 Global Plaza, Sterling, VA 20166

 

Washington

 

#BFI1 – 1800 140th Avenue, E Sumner, WA

#BFI3 – 2700 Center Drive, Dupont, WA 98327

#BFI5 – Building B, 20526 59th Pl S, Kent, WA 98032

#BFIX – 1800 140th Avenue, Sumner, WA 98390

#SEA6 – 2646 Rainier Avenue, South Seattle, WA 98144

#SEA8 – 1227 124th Avenue Northeast, Bellevue, WA, 98005

 

Wisconsin

 

#MKE1 – 3501 120th Ave. Kenosha, WI, 53144

#MKE5 – 11211 Burlington Road, Kenosha, WI 53144

 

Amazon Fulfillment Center Locations in Canada

 

#YVR2 – 450 Derwent Pl, Delta, British Columbia V3M 5Y9

#YVR4 – 4189 Salish Sea Way, Tsawwassen (Delta), British Columbia V4M 0B9

#YVR2 – 450 Derwent Pl, Delta, British Columbia V3M 5Y9

#YYZ1 – 6363 Millcreek Drive, Mississauga, Ontario L5N 1L8

#YYZ2 – 2750 Peddie Rd, Milton, Ontario L9T 6Y9

#YYZ3 – 7995 Winston Churchill Blvd, Brampton, Ontario L6Y 0B2

#YYZ4/#YYZ6 – 8050 Heritage Rd, Brampton, Ontario L6Y 0C9

#YYZ7 – 12724 Coleraine Dr, Caledon (Bolton), Ontario L7E 4L8

#PRTO – 6110 Cantay Rd, Mississauga, Ontario L5R 3W

#YOW1 – 5225 Boundary Road, Ottawa, Ontario, K4N 1P6

#YYZ9 – 900 Passmore Ave, Scarborough, ON M1X 0A1

#YUL2 – 3000 Rue Louis A Amos, Lachine, QC H8T 3P8

#YOW3 222 Citigate Dr, Barrhaven, ON K2J 6K7, Canada

#YVR3 109 Braid St, New Westminster, BC V3L 5H4, Canada

#YHM1 110 Aeropark Blvd, Hamilton, ON L0R 1W0, Canada

#YYC1 293069 Col Robertson Way, Balzac, AB T4A 1C6, Canada

#YXX2 16131 Blundell Rd, Richmond, BC V6W 0A1, Canada

 

Amazon Fulfillment Center Locations in the UK

 

#LTN1 – Marston Gate Fulfillment Centre, MK43 0ZA Ridgmont, Bedfordshire, UK

#XUKK – Kuehne & Nagel, Merlin Park II, Wood Lane, B249QJ Birmingham, UK

#XUKA – Aston Lane North, Whitehouse Industrial Estate, WA7 3BN Runcorn, Cheshire, UK

#BHX2 – Robson Way, LE67 1GQ Ellistown, Coalville, UK

#XUKD – Unit A Daventry Distribution Centre, Royal Oak Way North, NN11 8LR Daventry, UK

#LBA1 – Unit 1, Balby Carr Bank, DN4 5JS Balby, Doncaster, UK

#LBA2 – Unit 1, Iport Avenue, DN11 0BG New Rossington, Doncaster, UK

#EDI4 – Amazon Way, KY11 8XT Dunfermline, UK

#LTN4 – Unit DC1 (Prologis) Boscombe Road, LU5 4FE Dunstable, UK

#LTN2 – Boundary Way, HP2 7LF Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, UK

#GLA1 – 2 Cloch Road, Faulds Park, PA19 1BQ Gourock, Inverclyde, UK

#MAN1 – 6 Sunbank Lane, Airport City, M90 5AA Altrincham, Manchester, UK

#BHX3 – Amazon UK Services Ltd, Royal Oak Way North, NN118QL Daventry, Northamptonshire, UK

#EUK5 – Goods In, Phase Two, Kingston Park, Flaxley Road, PE2 9EN Peterborough, UK

#BHX1 – Towers Business Park, Power Station Road, WS15 1NZ Rugeley, Staffordshire, UK

#CWL1 – Ffordd Amazon, SA1 8QX, Crymlyn Burrows, Swansea, UK

#LCY2 – Amazon Distribution Depot, Unit 2, London Distribution Park, Windrush Road, RM18 7AN Tilbury, UK

#MAN2 – Omega Plot 7c, Orion Boulevard, WA5 3XA Great Sankey, Warrington, UK

#XUKC – Yusen Logistics UK Vendorflex, Rutherford Drive, Park Farm South, NN8 6AQ Wellingborough, UK

#BHX4 – Plot 1, Lyons Park, Coundon Wedge Drive, CV5 9FA Coventry, UK

#DST1 – Trentham Lakes, Stanley Matthews Way, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 8GR

#EMA1 – Derby DE74 2BB

#LCY3 – Amazon Dartford : Littlebrook Power Station (Oil Fired, Dartford DA1 5PZ

#LCY8 – Amazon Rochester : Unit 1A London Medway Commercial Park James Swallow Way, Rochester ME3 9GX

#MAN3 – Amazon Bolton : Bridgewater Ave, Bolton BL5 1BT

#MAN4 – Amazon Chesterfield : 29 High Hazels Rd, Barlborough, Chesterfield S43 4PZ

#MAN8 – Amazon St Helens : 525 Haydock Park, Haydock, Saint Helens WA11 9FS

 

Amazon Fulfillment Center Locations in Europe

 

Czech Republic

 

#PRG1 – Amazon Logistic Prague s.r.o, U Trati 216, 25261 Dobrovíz, CZ

#PRG2 – K Amazonu 245, 25261 Dobrovíz, CZ

 

France

 

#XFRE – 91-135 Rue du Brisson, 38290 Satolas-et-Bonce, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

#LYS1 – Distripôle Chalon, ZAC du Parc d’Activité du Val de Bourgogne,2 Tue Amazon Sevrey, 71100 Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy

#XFRG – ZAC Moulin, 101 Le Chemin de Poupry, 45410 Artenay, Centre-Val de Loire

#MRS1 – Building 2, Rue Joseph Garde, ZAC, Les Portes de Provence, 26200 Montélimar, Drôme

#BVA1 – 7 Rue des Indes Noirs, 80440 Boves, Somme, Hauts-de-france

#XFRF – Avenue Louis Renault, ZAC du Val Bréon, Bâtiment 3, 77610 Châtres, Île-de-France

#XFRH – 900 Rue Denis Papin, 77550 Moissy-Cramayel, Île-de-France

#ORY1 – Pôle 45, 1401 Rue du Champ Rouge, 45770 Saran, Loiret

#LIL1 – Parc logistique de Lauwin-Planque 1, Rue Amazon Douai, 59553 Lauwin-Planque, Norde-Pas-de-Calais

 

Germany

 

#FRA1 – Amazon Logistik GmbH, Am Schloß Eichhof 1, 36251 Bad Hersfeld

#FRA3 – Amazon Logistik GmbH, Amazonstraße 1 / Obere Kühnbach, 36251 Bad Hersfeld

#UDE6 – Amazon Logistik AF München GmbH, Am Borsigturm 100, 13507 Berlin

#BER3 – Amazon Brieselang GmbH, Havellandstr. 5, 14656 Brieselang

#DTM2 – Amazon Logistik Dortmund GmbH, Kaltband Straße 4, 44145 Dortmund

#XDEU – DHL Solutions GmbH, Barentsstrasse 24, 53881 Euskirchen

#MUC3 – Amazon Distribution GmbH, Amazonstrasse 1 Zeppelinstrasse 2, 86836 Graben

#CGN1 – Amazon Koblenz GmbH, Amazonstrasse 1 / Industriepark A61, 56330 Kobern-Gondorf

#LEJ1 – Amazon Distribution GmbH, Amazonstrasse1, 04347 Leipzig

#XDES – Hermes Fulfilment GmbH Standort Löhne, Schillenbrink 6, 32584 Löhne

#XDET – Geodis Malsfeld NS 3PL, Bornwise 1, 34323 Mansfeld

#XDEB – DHL Logistik-Center Ludwigsau, Im Fuldatal 2, 36251 Ludwigsau OT Mecklar

#XDEI – Geodis Logistics Deutschland GmbH Niederlassung Hamburg, Bei der Lehmkuhle 2, 21629 Neu Wulmstorf-Mienenbüttel

#STR1 – Amazon Pforzheim GmbH, Amazonstraße 1 (A8 Exit 44 Pforzheim Nord direction Bretten), 75177 Pforzheim

#XDEH – Kühne + Nagel (AG & Co.) KG Betriebsstätte Rennerod, Industriegebiet Alsberg, 56477 Rennerod

#DUS2 – Amazon Fulfillment GmbH, Amazonstraße 1 / Alte Landstrasse, 47495 Rheinberg

#XDEJ – Baur Versand GmbH & Co KG, Siegfried-Lapawa-Straße 1, 96242 Sonnefeld

#EDE4 – Amazon Logistik Werne GmbH, Wahrbrink 25, 59368 Werne

#EDE5 – Amazon Logistik Werne GmbH, Wahrbrink 23, 59368 Werne

#DTM1 – Amazon Logistik Werne GmbH, Carl-Zeiss-Straße 3, 59368 Werne

#HAM2 – Amazon Logistik Winsen GmbH, Borgwardstraße 10, 21423 Winsen an der Luhe

 

Italy

 

#XITD – Amazon XITD – Geodis Logistics, Viale Maestri del Lavoro 990, 45031 Arquà Polesine

#MXP5 – Amazon EU Sarl c/o Amazon Italia Logistica Srl, Strada Dogana Po 2U, 29015 Castel San Giovanni

#XITC – Amazon XITC – Geodis Logistics SpA, Via Aldo Moro, 4, 20080 Francolino di Carpiano

#FCO1 – Amazon Italia Logistica S.R.L., Via della Meccanica, 4, 02032 Passo Corese

#TRN1 – Amazon Italia Logistica S.R.L., Strada Provinciale per Rondissone 90, 10037 Torrazza Piemonte, Italy

#MXP3 – Amazon Italia Logistica S.R.L., Via Rita Levi Montalcini, 2, 13100 Vercelli

#FCO5 – MHRW+38, Ardea, Metropolitan City of Rome, IT

#BGY1 SP98, 24050 Cividate al piano BG, Italy

#LIN8 – Via Gioacchino Rossini, 24040 Casirate D’adda BG, Italy

#BLQ1 – 45020 Castelguglielmo, Province of Rovigo, Italy

#FCO2 – 00034 Colleferro, Metropolitan City of Rome Capital, Italy

#MXP6 – Via Luigi Einaudi, 28100 Novara NO, Italy

#BLQ8 – Via S. Vito, 1369, 41057 Spilamberto MO, Italy

 

Ireland

 

#SNN4 – Unit E, Baldonnell Business Park, Baldonnell, Co. Dublin, D22 V5R3, Ireland

 

Poland

 

#KTW3 – Amazon Fulfillment, ul. Bojkowska 80, 44-141 Gliwice

#KTW1 – Inwestycyjna 19, 41-208 Sosnowiec, Poland

#LCJ2 – 95-200, Pawlikowice

# LCJ3 – Józefów 3a, 93-614 Łódź, Poland

# LCJ4 –Józefów 3A, 93-614 Łódź, Poland

#SZZ1 – Amazon Fulfillment sp. z o.o., Kolbaskowo 156, 72-001 Kolbaskowo

#POZ1 – Amazon Fulfillment, Poznanska 1d, 62-080 Sady

#KTW1 – Amazon Fulfillment sp. z o.o., Inwestycyjna 19, 41-208 Sosnowiec

#WRO1 – Amazon Fulfillment, Czekoladowa 1, 55-040 Bielany Wrocławskie

#WRO2 – Amazon Fulfillment, Logistyczna 6, 55-040 Bielany Wrocławskie

#WRO3 – Amazon Fulfillment, Czekoladowa 1, 55-040 Bielany Wrocławskie

 

Slovakia

 

#BTS2 – Amazonska 4753/1, 926 01 Sereď, Slovakia

 

Spain

 

#BCN1 – Amazon Fulfillment, S.L., Avinguda De les Garrigues 6-8, 08820 El Prat de Llobregat, Barcelona

#BCN3 – Amazon Fulfillment, S.L, Carrer Ferro, 12, 08755 Castellbisbal, Barcelona

#XESA – XPO Logistics, Avenida Río Henares, 16, 19208 Alovera, Guadalajara

#XESB – Avenida Del Río Henares, 19208 Alovera, Guadalajara

#MAD4 – Amazon EU Sarl C/O Amazon Fulfillment, S.L, Avenida De Astronomía, 24, 28830 San #Fernando De Henares, Madrid

#MAD5 – Polígono Industrial Los Gavilanes, C. Severo Ochoa, 28, 28906 Getafe, Madrid

#BCN2 – Amazon Fulfillment, S.L., Carrer De La Veranda, 22, 08107 Martorelles

#XESC – Kuehne & Nagel Warehouse, Amazon Deliveries, Avenida de las Puntas, 10, 43120 Constantí, Tarragona

#BCN8 – Carrer de Ca n’Alzina, 161, 08210 Sabadell, Barcelona, Spain

#MAD8 – Calle Rachel Carson, 1, 28906 Madrid, Spain

#SVQ1 – Poligono Sen, 23, 41703 Dos Hermanas, Sevilla, Spain

#MAD9 – 28804 Alcala de Henares, Madrid, Spain

#VLC1 – Calle Panamá, 31, 12220 Onda, Castellón, Spain

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Why Even Crushing Content Failures Aren’t Mistakes

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Why Even Crushing Content Failures Aren’t Mistakes

Did you follow the Apple iPad Pro content debacle?

Here’s a quick recap. A recent online ad for the new iPad Pro showed a large hydraulic press slowly crushing various symbols of creativity. A metronome, a piano, a record player, a video game, paints, books, and other creative tools splinter and smash as the Sonny and Cher song All I Ever Need Is You plays.

The ad’s title? “Crush!”

The point of the commercial — I think — is to show that Apple managed to smush (that’s the technical term) all this heretofore analog creativity into its new, very thin iPad Pro.  

To say the ad received bad reviews is underselling the response. Judgment was swift and unrelenting. The creative world freaked out.

On X, actor Hugh Grant shared Tim Cook’s post featuring the ad and added this comment: “The destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley.”

When fellow actor Justine Bateman shared the Tim Cook post, she simply wrote, “Truly, what is wrong with you?” Other critiques ranged from tone-challenged to wasteful to many worse things.

Actor Justine Bateman shared Tim Cook’s post on X, which featured the ad, and added this comment: "Truly, what is wrong with you?".

A couple of days later, Apple apologized and canceled plans to air the ad on television.

How not-so-great content ideas come to life

The level of anger surprises me. Look, the ad does show the eyeballs on an emoji-faced squishy ball popping under the plates’ pressure, but still. Calling the ad “actually psychotic” might be a skosh over the top.

Yes, the ad missed the mark. And the company’s subsequent decision to apologize makes sense.

But anyone who’s participated in creating a content misfire knows this truth: Mistakes look much more obvious in hindsight.

On paper, I bet this concept sounded great. The brainstorming meeting probably started with something like this: “We want to show how the iPad Pro metaphorically contains this huge mass of creative tools in a thin and cool package.”

Maybe someone suggested representing that exact thing with CGI (maybe a colorful tornado rising from the screen). Then someone else suggested showing the actual physical objects getting condensed would be more powerful.

Here’s my imagined version of the conversation that might have happened after someone pointed out the popular internet meme of things getting crushed in a hydraulic press.

“People love that!”

“If we add buckets of paint, it will be super colorful and cool.”

“It’ll be a cooler version of that LG ad that ran in 2008.”

“Exactly!”

“It’ll be just like that ad where a bus driver kidnaps and subsequently crushes all the cute little Pokémon characters in a bus!” (Believe it or not, that was actually a thing.)

The resulting commercial suffers from the perfect creative storm: A not-great (copycat) idea at the absolutely wrong time.

None of us know what constraints Apple’s creative team worked under. How much time did they have to come up with a concept? Did they have time to test it with audiences? Maybe crushing physical objects fit into the budget better than CGI. All these factors affect the creative process and options (even at a giant company like Apple).

That’s not an excuse — it’s just reality.

Content failure or content mistake?

Many ad campaigns provoke a “What the hell were they thinking?” response (think Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad or those cringy brand tributes that follow celebrity deaths).

Does that mean they’re failures? Or are they mistakes? And what’s the difference?

As I wrote after Peloton’s holiday ad debacle (remember that?), people learn to fear mistakes early on. Most of us hear cautionary messages almost from day one.

Some are necessary and helpful (“Don’t stick a knife in a live toaster” or “Look both ways before you cross the street.”) Some aren’t (“Make that essay perfect” or “Don’t miss that goal.”)

As a result, many people grow up afraid to take risks — and that hampers creativity. The problem arises from conflating failure and mistakes. It helps to know the difference.

I moved to Los Angeles in 1987 to become a rock ‘n’ roll musician. I failed. But it wasn’t a mistake. I wasn’t wrong to try. My attempt just didn’t work.

Labeling a failed attempt a “mistake” feeds the fears that keep people from attempting anything creative.

The conflation of failure and mistakes happens all too often in creative marketing. Sure, people create content pieces (and let’s not forget that there are always people behind those ideas) that genuinely count as mistakes.

They also create content that simply fails.

Don’t let extreme reactions make you fear failures

Here’s the thing about failed content. You can do all the work to research your audience and take the time to develop and polish your ideas — and the content still might fail. The story, the platform, or the format might not resonate, or the audience simply might not care for it. That doesn’t mean it’s a mistake.

Was the Apple ad a mistake? Maybe, but I don’t think so.

Was it a failure? The vitriolic response indicates yes.

Still, the commercial generated an impressive amount of awareness (53 million views of the Tim Cook post on X, per Variety.) And, despite the apology, the company hasn’t taken the ad down from its YouTube page where it’s earned more than 1 million views.

The fictional Captain Jean Luc Picard once said, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not weakness. That is life.” The Apple ad turns that statement on its head — Apple made many mistakes and still won a tremendous amount of attention.

I’m not suggesting that people shouldn’t criticize creative work. Constructive critiques help us learn from our own and others’ failures. You can even have a good laugh about content fails.

Just acknowledge, as the Roman philosopher Cicero once wrote, “Not every mistake is a foolish one.” 

Creative teams take risks. They try things outside their comfort zone. Sometimes they fail (sometimes spectacularly).

But don’t let others’ expressions of anger over failures inhibit your willingness to try creative things.

Wouldn’t you love to get the whole world talking about the content you create? To get there, you have to risk that level of failure.

And taking that risk isn’t a mistake.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

Subscribe to workday or weekly CMI emails to get Rose-Colored Glasses in your inbox each week. 

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute 



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The Future of Content Success Is Social

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The Future of Content Success Is Social

Here’s a challenge: search “SEO RFP” on Google. Click on the results, and tell me how similar they are.

We did the same thing every other SEO does: We asked, “What words are thematically relevant?” Which themes have my competitors missed?” How can I put them in?” AND “How can I do everything just slightly better than they can?”

Then they do the same, and it becomes a cycle of beating mediocre content with slightly less mediocre content.

When I looked at our high-ranking content, I felt uncomfortable. Yes, it ranked, but it wasn’t overly helpful compared to everything else that ranked.

Ranking isn’t the job to be done; it is just a proxy.

Why would a high-ranking keyword make me feel uncomfortable? Isn’t that the whole freaking job to be done? Not for me. The job to be done is to help educate people, and ranking is a byproduct of doing that well.

I looked at our own content, and I put myself in the seat of a searcher, not an SEO; I looked at the top four rankings and decided that our content felt easy, almost ChatGPT-ish. It was predictable, it was repeatable, and it lacked hot takes and spicy punches.

So, I removed 80% of the content and replaced it with the 38 questions I would ask if I was hiring an SEO. I’m a 25-year SME, and I know what I would be looking for in these turbulent times. I wanted to write the questions that didn’t exist on anything ranking in the top ten. This was a risk, why? Because, semantically, I was going against what Google was likely expecting to see on this topic. This is when Mike King told me about information gain. Google will give you a boost in ranking signals if you bring it new info. Maybe breaking out of the sea of sameness + some social signals could be a key factor in improving rankings on top of doing the traditional SEO work.

What’s worth more?

Ten visits to my SEO RFP post from people to my content via a private procurement WhatsApp group or LinkedIn group?

One hundred people to the same content from search?

I had to make a call, and I was willing to lose rankings (that were getting low traffic but highly valued traffic) to write something that when people read it, they thought enough about it to share it in emails, groups, etc.

SME as the unlock to standout content?

I literally just asked myself, “Wil, what would you ask yourself if you were hiring an SEO company? Then I riffed for 6—8 hours and had tons of chats with ChatGPT. I was asking ChatGPT to get me thinking differently. Things like, “what would create the most value?” I never constrained myself to “what is the search volume,” I started with the riffs.

If I was going to lose my rankings, I had to socially promote it so people knew it existed. That was an unlock, too, if you go this route. It’s work, you are now going to rely on spikes from social, so having a reason to update it and put it back in social is very important.

Most of my “followers” aren’t looking for SEO services as they are digital marketers themselves. So I didn’t expect this post to take off HUGLEY, but given the content, I was shocked at how well it did and how much engagement it got from real actual people.

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

Writing a book is a gargantuan task, and reaching the finish line is a feat equal to summiting a mountain.

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