Alexa, the female persona behind Amazon’s Echo smart speaker, was the star of the retailer’s Snapchat account this weekend.
Amazon ran its first Super Bowl campaign this year, with ads starring Alec Baldwin, Dan Marino and Jason Schwartzman on air as well as on Snapchat’s Live Super Bowl story. The spots were also paired on Snapchat with Amazon’s own, unpaid account story, starring Vine personality David Lopez.
The Snapchat story, which was up throughout the weekend, was the first time Amazon used its account to promote its Echo. The retailer originally joined Snapchat for a brief time in 2014, to run exclusive promo codes for Black Friday deals on the app under the username “amazon.com.” Recently, it refreshed its Snapchat account with a new username — just “Amazon” — and a focus on product promotion rather than just deals, powered by a peppy social media influencer.
Lopez’s Vine, in which he announced that he would be heading to San Francisco to take over Amazon’s Snapchat account, has more than 1 million loops.
Amazon’s Super Bowl push to show off Echo in front of consumers is tied directly to the smart speaker’s newest revamp. (Amazon has not yet responded to a request to comment about its Snapchat story.) When Echo first launched at the end of 2014, people were confused by the product: $180 for a bluetooth speaker you could talk to, but for no really useful reason other than to buy from Amazon with your voice.
Now, the system has become a full platform with integrations with companies including Spotify (for on demand music streaming), Uber (to request that Alexa order you a car) and Domino’s (to order pizza with voice-command). Not everyone’s jumping at the chance to order Domino’s so easily, though.
— Scott Laine (@iamlaine) February 3, 2016
Still, after these integration announcements, people are starting to take Echo more seriously. And on Snapchat, viewers could get a live demo from Lopez as he used Alexa during Super Bowl weekend. He talked with the system to listen to Spotify, set alarms, get calendar reminders, check the score and weather, order Ubers, and ask Alexa who she thought would win the Super Bowl.
Of course, Amazon Echo also still lets you order items through your Amazon account to your home without having to pick up your smartphone or laptop. With more useful integrations, this behavior could become more natural to Echo owners, said Forrester principle analyst Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali.
“You can shout into the ether and have something done with Amazon Echo,” she said. “There’s no doubt we were heading toward that solution — the Dash button was a step, but we don’t need a Dash button. You can just say what you want to order.”
It’s too early to tell if Amazon’s efforts will actually drive Echo sales. Snapchat hasn’t released data from its Super Bowl spots, but on Twitter, people were beginning to chatter about wanting in on Amazon Echo’s Alexa power. According to Brandwatch data, Amazon was mentioned 6,100 times during the four hours of the Super Bowl on Twitter.
— Kat (@katcoyle1) February 8, 2016
I think I want an Amazon Echo….
— Kimmie Tee (@KBLXkimmie) February 8, 2016