Alexa loses her voice in Amazon’s Super Bowl ad
Alexa does the unthinkable in Amazon’s upcoming Super Bowl … unthinkable to Jeff Bezos, anyway.
She loses her voice.
“Alexa lost her voice? How is that even possible?” says Amazon CEO Bezos in a 30-second teaser ad posted to YouTube and on Twitter. The full 90-second spot will air during Sunday’s game.
Alexa is the name for Amazon’s artificial intelligence program. Users can talk to devices like Amazon’s Echo and hear updates on news and weather or control smart devices with voice commands.
The teaser advertisement opens with a woman asking Alexa for the weather. The voice starts to explain that it’s 60 degrees in Austin before coughing — an act considered so unthinkable that it’s reported as a television breaking news story within the advertisement.
The teaser ends with an Amazon employee telling Bezos, “We have the replacement, just say the word.”
“You sure this is gonna work?” the billionaire replies. “Yeah,” she says, uncertainly.
Fade to black. Viewers have to wait until the Super Bowl commercial to find out what’s going on with the voice assistant.
Alexa has appeared in a Super Bowl ad before, in 2016 with Alec Baldwin and Missy Elliott. That’s the year after Amazon introduced Alexa, delivered through its Echo device.
Google and Apple both have voice-activated competitors. The Google Home is available for purchase and Apple HomePod is set to launch soon. But Alexa dominates in market share, according to industry analysis last year from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.
Releasing a teaser ad is common tactic among Super Bowl advertisers used to drum up buzz in a relatively low-cost way ahead of the game itself. For the ad to appear in the Super Bowl, NBC is charging at least $5 million per 30-second spot.
The New England Patriots will take on the Philadelphia Eagles during the big game on February 4.