Amazon Ponders a Time #BeforeAlexa in Super Bowl Teaser Ads

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi wonder what they did without voice commands

portia de rossi and ellen degeneres at home
The married couple put Alexa in the middle of a dispute over the thermostat. Amazon
Headshot of Lisa Lacy

If these teasers are anything to go by, Amazon is relying on a familiar playbook for its return to the Super Bowl: uniting celebrities with its digital assistant, Alexa.

In the videos released Friday, comedian Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, use their Echo Show device to duel over the temperature inside their home and to add wine to their shopping cart—which also includes makeup remover, cardboard boxes and vitamins, for the Ellen and Portia superfans among you—while asking, “What did people do before Alexa?” with the hashtag #BeforeAlexa.

The landing page on Amazon hints at carrier pigeons, but details are sparse otherwise, including the length of the ad, when it will air and what agency worked on it. Lucky Generals and Amazon’s internal creative team were behind the platform’s last two Super Bowl spots, but Lucky Generals did not respond to a request for comment.

Amazon confirmed it will advertise in the game, but did not share additional details. And with voice commerce expected to gain steam this year, it’s certainly logical for the platform to put Alexa and Echo devices in front of an audience of 100 million, give or take.

It’s a theme that dates back to 2016 and actor Alec Baldwin, whose #BaldwinBowl showcased the Echo—and rapper Missy Elliott—in Super Bowl 50.

In 2018, Amazon imagined what would happen if Alexa lost her voice. Thankfully, celebrities like Cardi B, Gordon Ramsay, Rebel Wilson and Anthony Hopkins were able to fill in. Then, last year, Amazon focused on the presumably fictitious Amazon Beta Testing Program and showed us why some devices shouldn’t be voice-enabled. (Harrison Ford learned the hard way.)

On Friday, DeGeneres shared one teaser with her 79.4 million Twitter followers, which should help Amazon get the word out:

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@lisalacy Lisa Lacy is a senior writer at Adweek, where she focuses on retail and the growing reach of Amazon.