Amazon.com Inc., No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, is “thrilled” with the reception of its Super Bowl commercial, a spokeswoman tells Internet Retailer.
The 90-second cameo-filled ad explores what happens when Alexa, the Amazon-designed personal assistant that powers Echo speakers, loses her voice. The ad was the top-performing commercial in USA Today’s Ad Meter, which is a ranking of Super Bowl commercials based on consumer votes.
“We’re thrilled with the result,” says the Amazon spokeswoman, referring to the commercial’s Ad Meter performance. “We loved the ad concept and broader idea from the minute we saw it in creative briefings, and we were hedging our bets that customers would too. It’s great to see the team’s hard work pay off.”
The spokeswoman declined to share what impact the commercial has had on sales of Alexa-powered devices. However, the commercial helped boost the number of online articles, tweets, Facebook posts and other online content related to Amazon Alexa 129% from Jan. 31—when Amazon posted the video on YouTube—to Feb. 5, compared to Jan. 25-30, according to digital marketing firm Amobee Inc. Amobee’s results are based on its analysis of digital content across more than 600,000 websites.
The commercial built awareness of Alexa and Echo devices, says Deb Gabor, CEO of brand strategy consultancy Sol Marketing. “While it didn’t offer much in name of showcasing the value proposition of Alexa, it seemed aimed at driving the adoption of smart speakers into mass use. It seems likely that this is the first piece of a broader consumer-facing campaign.”
While Amazon’s ad focused on products, WeatherTech took a different approach. The automotive accessories retailer’s ad aimed to highlight how its brand’s products are built in the United States.
The ad produced significant results, according to Amobee. Digital content engagement around Weathertech soared 225% from Feb. 1-5, compared to Jan. 27-31. That was in part the result of the ad’s political overtones, Gabor says.
“Last year we saw a lot of political activism within the commercials as advertisers wanted to show that they stood up for causes that they believe in,” she says. “But there wasn’t much of that this year, with the exception of Weathertech and Dodge Ram [the car manufacturer featured parts of one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches to sell pickup trucks]. Weathertech had a very overt ‘Make America Great Again’ message.”
That’s evident as far-right news site Breitbart posted a story touting the ad’s message. “WeatherTech distinguished itself from the many left-wing, social justice-pushing advertisements of 2018’s Super Bowl by pushing an ‘America First’ message,” the article said.
“If Weathertech sought to start a conversation and create a brand image by linking its brand to its values, it did that,” Gabor says.
Meanwhile, Groupon, No. 26 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, sought to highlight its focus on local businesses in its commercial, which featured film star Tiffany Haddish posing the question, “What kind of person wouldn’t want to support local businesses?”
Since Groupon posted its Super Bowl commercial online on Jan. 25, digital content engagement around Groupon increased by 87% from Jan. 25-Feb. 5, compared to Jan. 13 -24, according to Amobee. 27% of that digital content engagement mentioned Haddish.
The ad depicts Haddish as a savvy shopper who uses Groupon to save money and help support local businesses. The commercial contrasts Haddish with a wealthy man who fails to understand the value of a family-run local business.
Building a connection with Haddish, who Groupon says ranks among the top 1% of its most frequent Groupon purchasers, could help Groupon build connections with younger consumers who may have missed Groupon’s rapid ascent around 2010, Gabor says.
“Tiffany Haddish was the ‘it’ celebrity of 2017,” she says. “She might be able to breathe some life into a brand that, to some extent, has fallen out of favor.”