Amazon’s Super Bowl Ad is Almost Too Steamy for TV

Every favorite part of the Super Bowl are the commercials. Sure, the hot wings are good and some people even want to watch soccer – but everyone else is here for the fun commercials.

Amazon’s new Alexa commercial is certainly interesting, but maybe funny isn’t the best descriptor. You could try weird. If you wanted to be kind, you could say esoteric. But if you’ve been really realistic, the best word is just … why?

The commercial begins with a woman examining the new fourth-generation Echo smart speaker and describing it as flawless. She says she couldn’t think of anything more beautiful, but her words fall silent when she catches a glimpse of a Michael B. Jordan advertisement out of the window.

While the Black Panther actor is certainly in good shape, it is not clear why he evokes this reaction. The woman begins to imagine Jordan in her house, but not as himself – instead she sees Alexa in him. His eyes glow with an eerie blue light that gets you ready to call Rick Deckard from Blade Runner and alert him of the presence of replicants.

From then on, things only get stranger, which leads to Jordan telling the woman a story in the bathroom (reading an audio book). The leading actress’ real husband shows visible concern about the change that has overtaken his wife and throws several thinly disguised allusions into the commercial.

All advertising is about getting you to think about the product. In fact, marketing psychology suggests that you need to be exposed to something six or seven times before you buy it. This new Alexa commercial will surely make you think of the smart assistant, but maybe not in the best light.

It is not clear what the message should be. Does Amazon want you to buy or sleep with an Alexa? If the commercial was an announcement of a new Alexa voice similar to Samuel L Jackson’s current option, that would be interesting – but it isn’t. The ad just makes the viewer wonder if the scriptwriter has tried a little too much of the beer intended for his Super Bowl beer-whipped onion rings.

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