Is it just me, or is this advertisement terrible?

14 replies
Today, Amazon announced Echo, a pretty cool little device that's like what would happen if Jawbone's Jambox and Siri had a kid.

I'm actually pretty excited about the tech (NERD), but their intro video was... well, it didn't technically make me sick. But it wasn't great.

Have a look for yourself:


What do you think? Awful, or just average?

(I wrote a blog post dissecting the video a little bit, but I'm eager to hear what you have to say!)
#advertisement #terrible
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    It's just you.

    Demonstration is powerful.

    Happy family, instant answers to questions, romance.

    This thing will sell like hotcakes.

    Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    I just "requested an invitation."

    I'm buying one.

    I thought the video was pretty damn cool.

    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author pewpewpewmonkeys
    Video nails it.

    Let's dissect it:
    "It's for everyone"
    Not just one group, dear video watcher, but for you specifically.

    "It's called ____"
    Introduction of product

    "It's always on"
    Explanation of product and ground layer info before further demonstration.

    "What does it do?"
    Script leads viewer thinking. "Yes, wtf is this product that has brought the family all into one room."

    "You don't have to yell at it" ("Silly Wife")
    Ha.

    "It works anywhere"
    There are no limits!
    More info, basics are explained.

    "Echo is pretty neat because..."
    Not, "you'll love echo" or "you'll think it's neat." No, Echo *IS* neat. There is no debate. (And in the voice of a cute little girl who 5 seconds ago had no idea what it was).

    "All you have to do is ask"
    You lazy people out there. No work. Just so simple. You do nothing...but ask.

    "Dad really likes it"
    HINT HINT, Buy it for your dad for Christmas!!!

    Useful for a busy mom who always (literally) has her hands full and can use help with wife-responsibilities.
    Useful for hardworking husband every-man who is busy and has to absorb info on the run
    Useful as entertainment for kids (because screw school and stuff, that's boring)
    Useful for ...oh look, useful for school too, now get great grades and be awesome
    Useful for teens to...continue living in the sheltered world of teenhood.
    Useful for...just in case...being romantic (GUYS! Score big by buying this tube!)

    "It's become part of the family"
    Not "it's going to be." It *IS* part of the family. The cute family in happiness-land that enjoys Echo so much and gets so much out of Echo.

    "To experience Echo..."

    Not "want to learn more" or "get your Echo here." Instead it's "See this happy awesomeness? To experience it..."


    My thoughts on the product:

    1. Pretty scary, tbh.
    2. I wonder if it comes with Pierce Brosnan's voice.
    Signature
    Some cause-oriented hackers recently hacked one of my websites. So I researched what they're about and then donated a large sum of money to the entity they hate the most.

    The next time they hack one of my websites I'm going to donate DOUBLE.
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    • Profile picture of the author MatthewRHallEsq
      Originally Posted by pewpewpewmonkeys View Post

      I wonder if it comes with Pierce Brosnan's voice.
      Lol.

      Hm, so no one else was bothered by some of the ham-fisted dialog? Lack of diversity? Unsettling implications (It's only listening for the magic word, so it actually IS always listening)? Is my inner film-critic making a bigger deal about flaws than it needs to, and if so, does that show awkward dialog doesn't matter that much?

      I felt the demonstrations were great, but I think it's the strength of the tech that really sells the product. It's the product we didn't know we needed until we saw it.

      What if the demos featured more than one family? That would make a more diverse cast easy to achieve.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
        Originally Posted by MatthewRHallEsq View Post


        I felt the demonstrations were great, but I think it's the strength of the tech that really sells the product.
        It's the tech that's being demonstrated.

        Alex
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      • Profile picture of the author splitTest
        Originally Posted by MatthewRHallEsq View Post

        Lol.

        Hm, so no one else was bothered by some of the ham-fisted dialog? Lack of diversity? Unsettling implications (It's only listening for the magic word, so it actually IS always listening)? Is my inner film-critic making a bigger deal about flaws than it needs to, and if so, does that show awkward dialog doesn't matter that much?

        I felt the demonstrations were great, but I think it's the strength of the tech that really sells the product. It's the product we didn't know we needed until we saw it.

        What if the demos featured more than one family? That would make a more diverse cast easy to achieve.
        Haha... First thing I thought was "well, is it always listening?" I guess I'm not the only "paranoid" out here. (I put tape over the webcam on my laptop! )

        I'd imagine that Amazon hasn't left any tech doors open for eavesdroppers though, since the thing isn't really built to be a communications device (as far as I know).

        As far as diversity goes, it looks like the thing doesn't do all that much as it stands. ...So you probably won't want to make an ad so busy it outshines the hundred-dollar "paperweight" .

        They prolly just want to show the few appealing things it can do for a household, I guess, without cutting from household to household.

        I wonder if it's a speaker phone to boot. Like "alexa -- call grandma!" That would be cool.

        I think that's a pretty good ad though. I was intrigued all the way through.

        One day we'll likely all have one of these things -- once it does a lot more, however.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
          Originally Posted by splitTest View Post


          I'd imagine that Amazon hasn't left any tech doors open for eavesdroppers though, since the thing isn't really built to be a communications device (as far as I know).
          It obviously needs the client computer to be connected online.

          Your confidence in corporate America is admirable but sorely misplaced. Companies have proven time and time again that they won't let a little thing like security vulnerabilities stand in the way of profits.

          Alex
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          • Profile picture of the author KreativCopy
            I thought the product itself was pretty terrifying. Some gadget in your house picking up on everything you do? Come on!

            As for the vid, I thought it explained everything quite well, although I think the family portrayed were somewhat puke making. Re the comment about diversity, I think that sometimes this can blur the picture even more by deliberately adding every single race, creed, or sexual orientation...and plus it comes across as patronizing imo.
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  • Profile picture of the author pewpewpewmonkeys
    Is my inner film-critic making a bigger deal about flaws than it needs to, and if so, does that show awkward dialog doesn't matter that much?
    The purpose of the video is not to be a great video. The purpose is to introduce a product and get it sold.

    It grabs attention. It creates interest. It creates desire. It has a call to action.

    Anything else and it may even distract from the intended goal. I think caring about the video too much is like and English professor being upset that a salespage has short sentences and short paragraphs. So the dialogue was cheesy...no oscar award. I don't think Amazon will care that it won't be getting any awards when it's rolling in the dough.

    What if the demos featured more than one family? That would make a more diverse cast easy to achieve.
    Mom, dad, kid entertainment, kid education, what teens love most (music). In the family nucleus, what more diversification do you need?
    Signature
    Some cause-oriented hackers recently hacked one of my websites. So I researched what they're about and then donated a large sum of money to the entity they hate the most.

    The next time they hack one of my websites I'm going to donate DOUBLE.
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  • Profile picture of the author MatthewRHallEsq
    In the family nucleus, what more diversification do you need?
    I was thinking about including families with different ethnic backgrounds.

    I think caring about the video too much is like and English professor being upset that a salespage has short sentences and short paragraphs.
    I taught university English for two years, so this was pretty spot on. I guess I have some more un-learning to do!

    Thanks all for taking the time to reply. I've picked up some good lessons here.
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  • Profile picture of the author MatthewRHallEsq
    Somewhat related: Reddit posted a slightly modified version of this video

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  • Profile picture of the author elmo033057
    Man is that cool. They could have done a crappy job of writing that script and I still think it would have sold.

    The acting was a bit hammy, but the script really did its job.

    They should have ended it with the dog barking at it and the thing telling the dog to sit down and shut up. That would have sold me!

    ELMO
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    • Profile picture of the author obaynes
      If you want to slam an Amazon ad I'd pick the ones for the Fire smartphone that have been on TV the last 3 months or so. Everyone seems to hate the yuppie kids flipping houses
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      Otto Baynes, Web Content Specialist (visit me at greatcontent.today)

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  • Profile picture of the author tudexo
    Originally Posted by MatthewRHallEsq View Post

    Today, Amazon announced Echo, a pretty cool little device that's like what would happen if Jawbone's Jambox and Siri had a kid.

    I'm actually pretty excited about the tech (NERD), but their intro video was... well, it didn't technically make me sick. But it wasn't great.

    Have a look for yourself:

    Introducing Amazon Echo

    What do you think? Awful, or just average?

    (I wrote a blog post dissecting the video a little bit, but I'm eager to hear what you have to say!)
    I wouldn't say I'd love to watch this over and over again, but I'd definitely want a piece of the pie. And, that I guess is the purpose of the video. Just my 2 cents.
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