Waterstones combats Amazon’s drones with ‘O.W.L.S.’

Waterstones has moved quickly to spoof Amazon, which was widely reported this morning (2 December) to be testing unmanned delivery drones, by posting a video unveiling its own new delivery method, “O.W.L.S.”.

The “Ornithological Waterstones Landing Service” is a fleet of specially trained owls who can deliver customers’ books in under 30 minutes, according to the narrator of the video “Jon Owls” – or Jon Howells as he is actually known – Waterstones PR and brand communications manager.

He continues in the video: “Putting O.W.L.S. into commercial use will take a number of years, because it takes ages for owls to do anything. And we only just thought of it this morning.”

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told CBS’s 60 Minutes programme last night (1 December) his company is testing drone delivery. However, the technology could take more than five years to be introduced and the timing of the news was called into question by some social media users who suggested the topic was raised so Amazon could hit the headlines on “Cyber Monday”.

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