Amazon’s Super Bowl Ad Makes Alexa a Mind Reader
Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost are the stars of this year’s Super Bowl ad for Amazon. The two are so impressed with Alexa’s game-day routine they compare it to having their minds read and imagine what it would be like if the voice assistant were indeed telepathic, with disastrous results.
Amazon doesn’t seem to have a specific device it is promoting, just using Alexa, albeit with shots of the most recent versions of the Amazon Echo smart speaker and Echo Show smart display. The ad unsurprisingly goes for a comedic take on the idea of a psychic voice assistant, with all of the couple’s hidden thoughts uncovered to their embarrassment. For instance, Alexa preemptively starts the blender when Johansson is bored by Jost’s monologue, schedules Jost to “fake his own death” for the opening night of an awful play Johansson is rehearsing for him, and finally calls them both out during a dinner party when she says she made the bread from her Gammy’s recipe.
“Announcement: Gammy is short for she bought it at Whole Foods,” the voice assistant interrupts to say, but that’s not all. “Announcement: Colin left the oysters in the car for 5 hours,” Alexa adds.
Big Game Ads
The small cast of the ad feels appropriate as the COVID-19 pandemic lingers. The ad is comparable in scale to last year when the ad showed women imagining the Echo turning into Michael B. Jordan as he read out a book. In comparison, Amazon’s 2020 ad line involved a whole elaborate series of ads imagining history if Alexa had been there, with big historical set pieces and lots of people dressed in period costumes. The 2019 ad focused on Alexa’s ubiquity with a collection of vignettes showing where the voice assistant might be at any time.