Bark once for food and twice for toys: Amazon’s Super Bowl ad features ‘failed’ Alexa apps

February 4, 2019

Does your dog like Alexa better than you? The Amazon home virtual assistant now is making life easier in millions of homes nationwide and, according to Top Dog Tips, it does almost as much for canines as it does for its human customers.

Alexa will play calming music when you command, “Relax my dog;” it will connect you with a licensed veterinarian when you upload the app, MyPetDoc; and it can tape your dog when you are not at home through a Furbo HD Treat Tossing Camera. It offers pet trivia, dog training lessons, and much, much more.

And, if Alexa has her limits, that’s not what actor Harrison Ford finds out in a wacky Amazon Super Bowl commercial that will air on Sunday, February 3.

According to a preview by the website Bustle, the Alexa ”smart collar app” for dog-walking is just one of the many funny, but feeble, products featured in the commercial—which begins with an Amazon employee remarking, “We’re putting Alexa in a lot of things now. But trust me, there are a lot of fails.”

In the commercial, Ford looks super-frustrated when his pup keeps barking its food orders at Alexa. He becomes even more cantankerous when a delivery truck filled with doggie treats shows up at the curb.

Another faux failed product featured in the ad is an Alexa toothbrush, used by Forest Whitaker.  But even more outrageous is the Alexa hot tub—a jacuzzi that shoots water from its jets, in time with the tempo of a song. Poor Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson get ejected from the tub when the water hits them with fire-hydrant strength during a jazzed-up tune.

It’s all for fun, ratings, and product promotion at the annual football fracas—when the ads attract as much attention as the action on the field.

According to Business Insider, the ad slots won’t come cheap this year: CBS is charging north of $5 million for a 30-second spot. Among the brands that have bought in are newbies such as beauty brand Olay, dating app Bumble, and Kraft’s frozen-food brand Devour; along with regulars including Anheuser-Busch InBev, Doritos, Pepsi,  Avocados From Mexico, and Kia.

Research contact: @Bustle

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