Amazon's Super Bowl commercial imagines if Alexa were psychic

Celebrity couple Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost worry that the home assistant can read their minds

Published On
Feb 07, 2022

Editor's Pick

Amazon’s new Super Bowl commercial stars Scarlett Johansson and her husband, “SNL Weekend Update” host Colin Jost, in an intimate setting, made even more intimate by voice-assistant Alexa. In the commercial, the couple imagine that Alexa can read their minds, interjecting some paranoia into their relationship.

Alexa is Amazon’s smart assistant that can control automation in the home like turning on the TV and appliances. On Monday, Amazon released the spot, which marks its seventh consecutive Big Game ad. Last year, Amazon’s commercial featuring Michael B. Jordan, called “Alexa’s Body,” won an Emmy. The new commercial was created through the same agency, Lucky Generals. It was directed by Wayne McClammy at Hungryman L.A..

The new ad is called “Mind Reader,” and the hashtag that Amazon is promoting for social channels is “#AlexaMindReader.” Amazon released a 90-second version of the ad, but a 60-second cut will run in the fourth quarter of the game.

The commercial opens with Jost saying, “Alexa, it’s game day.” That prompts the home assistant to set the mood, switching to the game on the TV, closing the blinds, dimming the lights, and chilling rosé.

“It’s like she can read your mind,” the actors say in unison. Then they go down a rabbit hole of possible use cases for a psychic Alexa. Some of the possibilities included ordering mouthwash just by judging Jost’s reaction to Johansson’s morning breath; or Alexa could power up a blender to spare Johansson when Jost drones on in the kitchen.

While humorous, the spot plays on a common fear about ever-present devices—that they hear everything. In the commercial, Alexa even acts on silent cues. The commercial ends by reassuring consumers. “It’s probably better Alexa can’t read your mind,” Jost says. “Bad idea,” Johansson agrees.

The commercial also serves to promote the fact that Amazon will exclusively stream football games in the upcoming season. Jost’s command about “game day,” signals Alexa to say it is “streaming football on Prime Video.”

Amazon paid $105 billion for the rights to "Thursday Night Football" games starting this year. Amazon is also planning a Super Bowl commercial that will promote Prime Video and its NFL games. Last week, Amazon's Prime Video Chief Marketing Officer Ukonwa Ojo told Ad Age the commercial will feature real fans. It was produced by Wieden+Kennedy.

Also last week, Amazon announced long-anticipated increases in Prime subscription fees, raising the cost of an annual membership by $20 to $139.