A year after Amazon’s Echo starred in a Super Bowl commercial, Google Home gets its turn in the spotlight with a 60-second ad that will air Sunday during this year’s Super Bowl.
It’s not Google’s first Super Bowl ad; that happened all the way back in 2010 when Google ran the well-received Parisian Love ad. But it is the first Super Bowl ad for Google Home, the company’s in-home voice assistant that’s only been available to consumers since October.
You’ll recognize the commercial as very “Googley” — it has a very personal and homey feel and portrays a cross-section of people using the device in various times of need. The ad ends with the tagline, “Home by you. Help by Google.” There’s no pricing information or even anything that tells consumers where to buy Home.
Google is battling Amazon — and to a lesser degree right now, Apple (Siri) and Microsoft (Cortana) — for the expanding voice assistant market. One recent estimate suggests there’ll be more than 30 million voice-based devices in U.S. homes by the end of this year, and it appears that the market is Amazon’s to lose. Although Amazon doesn’t share specific sales figures for the Echo device family (nor does Google talk about how many Homes have sold so far), current estimates peg the number at more than eight million — including more than three million just during the 2016 holidays. It won’t be easy for Google to catch up anytime soon if Amazon has that kind of momentum in its favor. Google is obviously betting that the visibility of a $5 million (give or take) commercial during the biggest TV event of the year is money well-spent.
Amazon ran its first Super Bowl ad a year ago, using Alec Baldwin and NFL veteran Dan Marino, to promote Echo. There’s been no word from Amazon about another Echo-related ad during this year’s game.