Amazon's Super Bowl ad reveals the same old Alexa ahead of Apple's HomePod

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 31
After a teaser suggested new voice options could be coming to Alexa, the release of Amazon's full Super Bowl spot reveals it was all just a joke, setting up a primetime ad where celebrities substitute in for Alexa -- and poorly.




The 90-second ad, posted to YouTube on Wednesday, features Gordon Ramsay, Cardi B, Rebel Wilson and Anthony Hopkins, all standing in as replacements for Alexa after the personal assistant "lost her voice." The celebrities don't quite perform what Echo users ask of them, however, denying their requests to humorous effect.

The spot ends with the classic Alexa voice announcing, "Thanks guys, but I'll take it from here," making it clear that the voice driven personal assistant remains the same as before.





Earlier this week, Amazon posted a 30-second teaser for the Super Bowl ad, suggesting that multiple replacement voices were coming to Alexa after losing her voice. While the teaser implied Alexa could be gaining new voices, the final ad shows it was just the setup for a cameo-filled laugh.

The ad will air on national TV during Super Bowl LII, set to take place this Sunday between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots.

Just a few days later, on Feb. 9, Apple will launch HomePod, a premium, music-focused speaker that also integrates its own voice-driven assistant, Siri.

HomePod has drawn inevitable comparisons to Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo lineup, though Apple's offering is more focused on high quality audio playback.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,193member
    Great ad. I was definitely thrown by the teaser ad suggesting that Alexa could lose her voice and the voices were to change—neither of which are good for business.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 2 of 22
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,901member
    I like Echo Dot, but who the fck will put that shit on his ear?
  • Reply 3 of 22
    Very effective. It uses the gimmick of celebrity voices and humor to get you to the real message: Alexa can handle a wide range of everyday use cases.
    SoliJWSC
  • Reply 4 of 22
    Can you please make videos available in all countries?
    US ≠ world

    A.
    [Deleted User]tokyojimu
  • Reply 5 of 22
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,901member
    Very effective. It uses the gimmick of celebrity voices and humor to get you to the real message: Alexa can handle a wide range of everyday use cases.
    I found it sucked. Alexa Smarthome keeps dropping the device connections which require to disable and enable again. Try Wemo and Hue devices and you know. HomeKit on the other hand is more reliable.
    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 22
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,193member
    asterion said:
    Can you please make videos available in all countries?
    US ≠ world

    A.
    1) The video was posted to YouTube by Amazon, not AI. There would be legal issues if they ripped Amazon's content from YouTube just so they could host on their website. They don't need that kind fo trouble when there are easy, legal solutions in place.

    2) This is a US run company. You just gotta deal with it, just as I have to deal with BBC shows not playing in the US. Solution: Get a VPN for when you run into issues.

    3) There's no need for a signature when every post has your username attached.
    muthuk_vanalingamjbdragonlolliver
  • Reply 7 of 22
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,995member
    asterion said:
    Can you please make videos available in all countries?
    US ≠ world

    A.
    That has nothing to do with AI. It's the content owners on YouTube restricting videos to certain geographic regions. 
    jbdragonlolliver
  • Reply 8 of 22
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,995member
    Soli said:
    asterion said:
    Can you please make videos available in all countries?
    US ≠ world

    A.
    1) The video was posted to YouTube by Amazon, not AI. There would be legal issues if they ripped Amazon's content from YouTube just so they could host on their website. They don't need that kind fo trouble when there are easy, legal solutions in place.

    2) This is a US run company. You just gotta deal with it, just as I have to deal with BBC shows not playing in the US. Solution: Get a VPN for when you run into issues.

    3) There's no need for a signature when every post has your username attached.
    I wish the BBC would air documentaries concurrently on BBC America. I used the VPN solution so I could watch Blue Planet 2. I didn't want to wait 4 months to watch it here in the States. 
    edited January 31 jbdragon
  • Reply 9 of 22
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,193member
    Soli said:
    asterion said:
    Can you please make videos available in all countries?
    US ≠ world

    A.
    1) The video was posted to YouTube by Amazon, not AI. There would be legal issues if they ripped Amazon's content from YouTube just so they could host on their website. They don't need that kind fo trouble when there are easy, legal solutions in place.

    2) This is a US run company. You just gotta deal with it, just as I have to deal with BBC shows not playing in the US. Solution: Get a VPN for when you run into issues.

    3) There's no need for a signature when every post has your username attached.
    I wish the BBC would air documentaries concurrently on BBC America. I used the VPN solution so I could watch Blue Planet 2. I didn't want to wait 4 months to watch it here in the States. 
    I think BBC America is a larger market for them—it certainly has the potential to be so Americans outnumbering Britons by 5 to 1. I know that Doctor Who aires the same day in on BBC America because of its popularity in the US, and I feel that many other shows could benefit from this, especially the various Planet series.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    You may not remember what was said in that commercial, but you will remember how it made you feel.
    The ad was creepy, all the way to the end!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 22
    asterion said:
    Can you please make videos available in all countries?
    US ≠ world

    A.
    Apple US
    Microsoft US
    Google US
    Amazon US
    Facebook US
    Twitter US
    Netflix US
    Disney US
    Paramount US
    Comcast (NBC/Universal) US
    AT&T (soon to own Time-Warner to include HBO, CNN and others) US
    Intel US
    AMD US
    H-P  US
    Dell  US

    Do you notice a trend?
    fallenjt
  • Reply 12 of 22
    tzm41tzm41 Posts: 70member
    It does put a bitter taste in the mouth by portraying a person on the other side of your voice commands. Almost feels like someone can constantly spy on your house's ambient sound.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 22
    asterion said:
    Can you please make videos available in all countries?
    US ≠ world

    A.
    Was about to say the same but its not actually Apple Insiders fault, it has to do with YouTube I think.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 22
    I don't get the ad, they say they have a replacement but at the end of the video Alexa says: "thanks guys, but I'll take it from here". Whats the point of saying they have a replacement when is just the same voice? Is it an much improved voice from the original? 

    At least the add is funny, though suggesting your product has malfunctions is not very smart.
  • Reply 15 of 22
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,193member
    mavemufc said:
    asterion said:
    Can you please make videos available in all countries?
    US ≠ world

    A.
    Was about to say the same but its not actually Apple Insiders fault, it has to do with YouTube I think.
    It's Amazon's decision. They choose all the parameters in which they want their content to be shown.
  • Reply 16 of 22
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,637member
    gutengel said:
    I don't get the ad, they say they have a replacement but at the end of the video Alexa says: "thanks guys, but I'll take it from here". Whats the point of saying they have a replacement when is just the same voice? Is it an much improved voice from the original? 

    At least the add is funny, though suggesting your product has malfunctions is not very smart.
    I won't see the video until I get home on wifi but it seems to portray a 'don't know what you've got, till it's gone' idea while reinforcing how good Alexa is to people who haven't tried the service. And in a humorous way. If that's the idea, I think it's spot on.
    edited January 31 Solirandominternetperson
  • Reply 17 of 22
    CGI Bezos.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 22
    It's a good commercial that will get some positive buzz for Amazon.

    Having said that, are their real people would would ask their smart home to "set the mood" and expect something good to happen?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 22
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,826member
    I didn't really get the ad. How does this get people to want to buy this device? That's what it comes down to. Having a growing Homekit house. Also having a Alexa Dot and a Google Mini to play around with. Asking questions only goes so far. So the one with having Mood Lighting, now that's where this is were it really matters, Home Automation!!!

    Siri, especially on the Apple Watch, when you can just lift your wrist and issue a command is the greatest thing!!! Because it works EVERYWHERE. Every room in my house. In my garage. In my front yard and back yard. Away from my house. Many places these speakers, including the HomePod are locked into a room by a power cord. On the other hand, your own family can use them. So you litter your house with theses things, and then voice control your inside lights and adjust the temp, etc. Mood Lighting, no problem.

    I do think Google's Assistant has the edge over Siri. For most things they are in fact pretty equal. Both are better then Alexa in most things also. Alexa does have a ton of Skills, most of which you'll never activate and use. You have to be exactly right in how you word something for it to work otherwise it's clueless. I like of look at it as what Apple's App store was early on, where it was a bunch of worthless fart apps. I also don't like that you have to ASK it or TELL it to do something and with what device, where Google and Siri are smart enough to know what I'm talking about.

    This is why I'm playing around with all 3 of them. They all have their Pros and Cons. The Plus with the Amazon Dot is that since I'm a long time PRIME member, I get access to a lot of music without having to pay for a Music Service also. Last month in December, when I setup the Google Mini, which I have to say really doesn't sound that bad, and in fact sounds better then the Amazon Dot, music is just BAD on it. I had setup Pandora on the Google Mini and when I asked it to play some Music, "Hey Google, Play some Bing Crosby Christmas Music" it started to play just that, from Pandora. Didn't cost me a penny. I have free Pandora service currently. That was nice. I tried it again this month and it no longer works. Without paying for Spotify, that doesn't work by voice on Google's Mini using the free service. I havn't gotten around to setting up the Skills for Spotify and Pandora on Alexa yet, as I said, the Dot does sound like crap!!! It's OK for talk, but Music, no thanks.

    I'd lay back on my Bed and ask questions to Siri to my new 12.9" iPad Pro. Then to Google Mini, and than to Amazon Echo Dot. It's something I like to play around with. How do the answers compare to the question I asked. Pretty similar. What am I going to get for news or weather when I ask. Where's that data coming from? Can I change it? For example, google was pretty easy to swap to the news service I wanted over the default.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,193member
    jbdragon said:
    I didn't really get the ad. How does this get people to want to buy this device?
    1) Alexa isn't a device. It's a service that is part of their Echo devices (and available on countless other devices). I know you know this, but it's important to realize this in regards to the ad.

    2) Not all ads are about directly selling a product. Often they're about awareness, which includes reminders even though you haven't forgotten about them. This is why you see ads for Coke everywhere despite no one forgetting that Coke actually exists. We're seeing the awareness ads with the new HomePod teasers just as we saw with the Academy Awards "Hello?" ad for the original iPhone that didn't show the device in use but referenced over a dozen old-style phones. Those Apple ads were about generating buzz for a yet unreleased product so the focus was piquing your interest. Later on they'll show you the devices being used, and then after that they'll get a little more meta or funny, like this Alexa ad. Remember the "Mac v PC" ads? I'm glad I never had to unbox Justin Long.
    edited January 31
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