Amazon has made it a habit to make us laugh with its hilarious and very offbeat Super Bowl ads. Two years ago, Alexa lost its voice in the ad and last year the brand explained how there were some hilarious fails before it perfected the voice assistant. This year, the Amazon Super Bowl ad goes back in time to bring us how people managed without Alexa back in the day. A hint at the answer: well, they did not do too well!
Alexa down the ages…sort of
The minute and a half long ad features Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. As the two are heading out, DeGeneres asks Alexa on an Echo Dot to turn down the thermostat and then wonders out loud, “what do you think people did before Alexa?”
The ad then goes back at different times in history (very questionable) and shows how people managed without Alexa in the past. The video features different people whose name sound very similar to that of Alexa being asked questions that people now ask Alexa but unlike the result that today’s Alexa delivers, here what happens can be termed inconvenient at best but in the most hilarious way possible.
The clip starts with a woman asking her maid ‘Alessa’ to turn the temperature down by two degrees. The maid goes ahead, takes out two logs out of the fire and throws them out of a glass window. In the process, her sleeve catches fire, she dabs the fire off, no one reacts to this unusual and destructive way of turning down temperature and the maid resumes cleaning. After this, a queen summons a jester in her courtroom and asks him to tell her a joke, but he obviously fails to come up with one at the time. Then a little boy named Alex is selling newspaper on a busy street but when a man asks him about the news, he takes a subtle dig at the fake news trend and tells him how it does not matter as “it is all fake.”
The clip then moves on to two guys on a cart. One of them asks the other two to play a song that he likes and he starts to blow whistle using a jug at which he then asks him to play another one. After this, a woman washing clothes with her friend asks her to tell her something interesting and Alexa’s almost namesake woman, Lexi, blurts out some very questionable facts. Then comes a pigeon that is asked to deliver a message to the prince but as it takes flight the poor things get caught in claws on a falcon which a moment later is ingested by a flying dragon. The ad takes a very Nixon-ish turn when a US President-like figure asks his secretary to “delete tapes” and she obviously does not.
Fast forward to the present, Ellen and Portia sit in their car where Ellen asks Alexa to play her favorite song on an Echo Auto which then starts sounds exactly like the guy who was blowing whistle using the jug but then turns into “Yeah” by Usher. The ad ends with the Amazon Logo.
Not hard sell, but lots of laughs
Speaking in the classical sense, one might say that the ads do not really talk about the ability of Alexa or the devices on which the assistant is available. But then Amazon’s Super Bowl ads are never meant for hard sell but are more of an opportunity to unleash its crazy creative side – something the brand has been making the most of it for the last three years.
Amazon Alexa Super Bowl ads have been a star-studded affair. We remember seeing the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Gordon Ramsey and Jeff Bezos himself in them in the past. This year while there might not be a number of stars involved, the ad still features celebrities. These ads have never failed to crack us up and this year is no different.
We love how Amazon has explored different time periods and how cleverly it has used names that sound like Alexa for people. But the real highlight of the ad was how these people responded to the commands given to them. The maid throwing out the logs, the jester failing to come up with a joke, the secretary not deleting tapes and even the untimely death of the poor pigeon was hilarious. The message was loud and laughingly clear – we have always had some sort of “Alexa” in our lives right through the ages, but they did not always do what was REALLY asked of them. It also shows that while human Alexas can fail you, the artificial one is very likely to do exactly as told.
The ad very subtly showed how people really need Alexa and how life before the virtual assistant was pretty much a mess. So the next time you ask Alexa to do something, remember to thank the lords at Amazon for bringing her into your lives. She might not perfect, but hey, she is a whole lot better than her human predecessors.
No, Alexa, do not tell us a joke. We are still laughing at your Super Bowl ad.