Get the best Black Friday deals on mobile tech here!

Watch how Google made Super Bowl viewers cry and Amazon made them laugh

Watch how Google made Super Bowl viewers cry and Amazon made them laugh
While the world got a thrilling Super Bowl to talk about, this year's commercials were a little more subdued than usual. Considering that the cost of a 60-second spot was $10 million, perhaps the companies shelling out the big bucks wanted to make sure that their message was heard. Bill Murray's "Groundhog Day" commercial for Jeep was considered the funniest of the lot by the pundits. But the ad that many called the tear-jerker ad for this year's Super Bowl was produced by Google.

An elderly man, looking to reminisce about his now-departed wife, asks Google to show pictures of himself and Loretta. Looking back at the photos, one shows the gentleman with a mustache and he says, "Remember, Loretta hated my mustache." Google responds, "Ok, I'll remember that." Now we do need to interrupt here to remind you that the features seen on the video are available with Google Assistant. As Google notes, you can say "Hey Google, remember…" and add something that you want the Assistant to remind you about at a later date. For example, you can say, "Hey Google, remind me that Aunt Polly is left-handed." Or "Hey Google, remember that Cousin Stevie loves black turtleneck shirts and sneakers." You can hear everything that you've asked Google to remind you about by saying "Hey Google, what did I tell you to remember?"

Google and Amazon each spent $15 million to promote their virtual assistants

Returning to the commercial, the reminiscing gentleman asks Google to show him photos of his anniversary. Now, this is a bit misleading because Google needs to know the specific date when the pictures requested were taken. Before asking the virtual digital assistant to bring up photos of his anniversary, the widow would have had to tell the Assistant, "Hey Google, remember that my anniversary is November 8th." The same thing applies when Google is asked to play the couple's favorite movie with one proviso: that movie needs to be purchased first from Google Play or YouTube before it can be viewed.

And if showing all of the things that Google was asked to remember about Loretta doesn't get those tears flowing, they surely will when the man says, "Remember I'm the luckiest man in the world." Cue the tag line: "A little help with the little things."

We'd be remiss if we didn't point out that the 90-second ad cost Google $15 million to run once. This actually makes the Fox salesman who inked the deal with Google the luckiest man in the world.

Other companies related to the mobile industry that ran ads include short-video form app TikTok (besides its own ad, TikTok was seen on commercials for Hyundai, Chipotle, Mountain Dew, TurboTax, and Sabra according to MarketingDive), T-Mobile (which also gave away a ton of 5G phones during the game), Microsoft (for the Surface Pro which is the official tablet of the NFL) and Amazon.

Speaking of Amazon, the company ran a hilarious 90-second ad associated with the hashtag #BeforeAlexa. Starring real-life couple Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, the pair wonder what life was like before virtual assistant Alexa was created. For example, we see a woman doing needlepoint stop and say "Alessa, turn the temperature down two degrees. A maid goes into the fireplace and tosses one of the burning logs through the window. Another example shows a man dressed as a court jester being brought before the Queen. "Alexine," she says, "tell me a joke." The jester tries to think of one but can't. "Gawd, you'd think I'd know loads. Look at me." There is a scene with a 1930s era newsboy hawking the latest edition of the paper. A man says "Alex, what's today's news?" The kid responds, "It doesn't matter. It's all fake." The paperboy must be a time traveler.

The ad also shows how people requested music and sent messages before Alexa. And there is even a reference to Richard Nixon, Watergate and the missing 18 and a half minutes of taped evidence that was mysteriously deleted.

It's interesting that Google and Amazon both spent $15 million each on ads for their virtual digital assistants; Google went for the heart and Amazon went for the funny bone. Which one do you think did the better job?


Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless