Amazon pokes fun at Nixon tapes in Super Bowl ad about life pre-Alexa

Droga5 London created spot that makes the world seem so inconvenient before the voice assistant came around

Published On
Jan 29, 2020

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Amazon released its Super Bowl ad, starring Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, and it imagines a world before Alexa, the voice-activated assistant.

The humorous spot is set to run in the third quarter on Sunday, and it is 90 seconds long. The ad begins with DeGeneres wondering what life would be like without the always-on Alexa available performing routine tasks. That’s when the commercial takes a trip back in time.

The ad steps then rewinds back to Victorian England, the Elizabethan times, the Old West and the Middle Ages, then all the way up to the Nixon era. The joke about Nixon is that his assistant Alexa does not erase his tapes. Get it?

Amazon has faced privacy concerns with Alexa, which is able to record people in the intimacy of their homes. That’s why last year, Amazon introduced a way for users to command Alexa to erase recordings, which Nixon could surely have used.

It seems Amazon wasn’t shy about hot-button political topics, either. In another gag, the commercial makes fun of “fake news” in history, presumably offering Alexa as an alternative for reliable information.

Droga5 London and Amazon worked together on the spot, which was directed by Steve Rogers via Somesuch x Revolver/Will O'Rourke.

The commercial was first teased last week.

Last year, Amazon was in the Super Bowl with a 90-second spot for Alexa, and it had a more futuristic theme. In that ad, Amazon wondered what wacky technology Alexa would get into in the future.

On Sunday, Amazon hopes to encourage discussion around the ad with the hashtag “#BeforeAlexa.”


Jan 29, 2020
Client :
Agency :
Global Executive Creative Director :
Simon Morris
Campaign Lead :
Nick Gesualdi
Project Manager :
Nicole Jue
Chief Creative Officer :
David Kolbusz
Group Creative Director :
Shelley Smoler
Group Creative Director :
Raph Basckin
Creative Director / Lead Writer :
Matt Hubbard
Senior Agency Producer :
Rachel Hough
Production Assistant :
Manon Rees
Joint Managing Director :
Heather Cuss
Account Director :
Max Levine
Strategy Director :
Damien Le Castrec
Strategy Director :
Achim Schauerte
Contributing Writer :
Dave Wigglesworth
Contributing Writer :
Ed Redgrave
Contributing Writer :
Teddy Souter
Contributing Writer :
Frazer Price
Contributing Writer :
Ethan Bennett
Contributing Writer :
Cecile Robertshaw
Production Company :
Production Company :
Production Company :
Will O'Rourke
Director :
Steve Rogers
Managing Director / Executive Producer :
Seth Wilson
Production Manager :
Lee Groombridge
Director of Photography :
Emmanuel Lubezki
Production Designer :
K.K. Barrett
Costume Designer :
Hannah Edwards
Costume Designer :
Jennifer Johnson
Hair & Makeup :
Jemma Carballo
Hair & Makeup :
Brenna Bash
Production Services :
USA Celebrities :
Platinum Rye
UK Celebrity :
Talent Republic
Edit :
The Quarry
Editor :
Jonnie Scarlett
Producer :
Tor Adams
Post Production :
The Mill
Executive Producer :
Misha Stanford- Harris
Senior Producer :
Angela Toner
Post Production Creative Director :
Dan Williams
Post Production Creative Director :
Mike Chapman
2D Lead Artist :
John Thornton
3D Lead Artist :
Mike Chapman
3D Lead Artist :
Finlay Crowther
Finish Artist :
Adam Maynard
Matte Painting :
Can Y. Sanalan
Matte Painting :
Sachin Dhapudkar Srinivas
Animation :
Laurie Estampes
Animation :
Nick Smalley
Animation :
Sauce Villas
Design :
Freya Barnsley
Design :
Kwok Lam
Color :
Colorist :
Jean-Clement Soret
Color Producer :
Ellora Chowdhury
Sound :
String and Tins
Sound Design & Mix :
Will Cohen
Sound Design & Mix :
Lawrence Kendrick
Sound Design & Mix :
Jim Stewart
Producer :
Eimear Ni Ghuaire
Music Clearances :
Music Composition :
Composer :
Joel Hartman
Head of Music :
Luis Almau
MD/Producer :
Jay James
Media Planning/Buying :

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