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  • Writer's pictureChris Bowler

The Tech Super Bowl

More than ever, marketers are featuring technology in their ads.

With more than 100 million viewers in the U.S., the Super Bowl remains the biggest advertising event of the year. The TV spots - estimated to cost $5MM each - have always reflected American culture and where the country stands today. One of the most notable ads ever was the iconic Apple spot from 1984 introducing the Macintosh computer.

This year, there will be numerous spots which will feature and integrate today's technologies that have rapidly gained traction across our culture. There are at least three trends that are worth noting.

1. Voice Devices

Again, Amazon will be promoting its Echo devices, but this year, Amazon is poking fun at itself - and the industry - with a 90-second spot entited, 'Not Everything Makes the Cut'. Featuring celebrities such as Harrison Ford and Forest Whitiker, the spot showcases Alexa skills that represent big fails, such as a dog collar that speaks 'dog', allowing a Boston terrier to stock up on unauthorized orders of gravy, sausage and kibble. While 1 in 5 Americans own a smart speaker, Amazon is clearly trying to grow the market. What's notable, though, is that the comprehension of the spot assumes some familiarity with Alexa. Could it be that Amazon's research indicates that the marketing promise of an Echo device is around Alexa's personality and voice, versus the practical application of what the device can do?

Pringles reveals that you can create 318,000 combinations by stacking just 3 Pringle chips. The spot shows a couple of dudes interacting with a smart device which laments that it cannot enjoy these combinations as a machine. As an extended activation, fans from the teams’ home cities, Los Angeles and Boston, will be able to tweet @Pringles for a chance to win flavor stacks themed to their cities. Overall, it's a clever way of driving increased consumption of Pringles by enticing users to buy multiple flavors.

2. Artificial Intelligence

Perennial advertiser, Avocados From Mexico, is debuting a spot called 'Human Canine Show' which mimics a dog show where humans are the canines who will do anything to win a trophy filled with guacamole. But AFM is taking things a few steps further by using AI technology on its website which matches humans with dogs who are up for adoption (in partnership with Adopt-A-Pet). By taking a quiz about your personal lifestyle, the matching engine filters and presents the ideal dog for you to adopt. Check it out for yourself.

3. Robots

Michelob Ultra shows off the superior abilities of robots over humans - such as running and spinning. Except for having fun, that is. One robot looks longingly in a bar where humans are enjoying a post-workout beer. The tagline ends the spot with, 'It’s only worth it, if you can enjoy it.' Even though the use of robots hasn't yet taken off, it's now a recurring theme around humans versus machines.

What other tech-inspired campaigns have I missed? Feel free to leave a comment.

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