Harrison Ford, other stars show the limits of Alexa in hilarious Super Bowl ads

Amazon’s having fun with Alexa with this year’s Super Bowl Sunday TV commercial. The online retail giant is set to run at least one television commercial for the Amazon Beta Testing Program during Super Bowl 53 this Sunday, February 3. After seeing Amazon’s earlier teaser videos we guessed that the program has something to do with Amazon’s Alexa digital voice assistant, and we were right. Check out the video at the top of this article.

To spark interest in the so-far-under-wraps announcement, Amazon enlisted actors, comedians, and astronauts in short teaser ads. In the ads, actors Harrison Ford and Forest Whitaker, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer from Broad City, and NASA astronauts and twin brothers Mark and Scott Kelly all react to That-Which-Is-Still-Secret.

You can see the teasers on Amazon’s All Things Alexa page, or below.

In each video, the actor slides open a two-section horizontal shutter or door, looks at what’s inside, and utters a short reaction. What each clip has in common is that the contents emit or reflect blue Amazon Echo light that illuminates the character’s face. The inside surface looks like egg-crate acoustic soundproofing, but no further details are visible.

Harrison Ford’s take sounds in character with his first “Star Wars” stint as Han Solo.

Abbi Jacobsen and Ilana Glazer are taken aback.

Forest Whitaker seems amused.

Mark and Scott Kelly take it in stride with a greeting.

All that Amazon mentions in conjunction with the teasers is “Amazon recruited some famous friends to test new Alexa technologies. To see what happened, tune into the big game on 2.3.19.”

Here’s what happened when we acted on the suggestion to ask Alexa:

DT: “Alexa, what is the Amazon Beta Testing Program?”

Alexa: “I’m not supposed to talk about the confidential Amazon Beta Testing Program until the big game on February 3. However, I think you can keep a secret. Just say this access code: Blue 126. Again that’s Blue 126.”

DT: “Blue 126.”

Alexa: “Access granted. Warning, The Amazon Beta Test Program works with celebrities like Abbi Jacobsen and Ilana Glazer to try out untested technology such as smart bubbles, enhanced party mode, and sub-aquatic waveform resonance. What could possibly go wrong? To see official test critics, tune in to the big game on February 3.”

Using the same Blue 126 access code in subsequent trials resulted in different, but similar Alexa responses.

The only way to find out what the Amazon Beta Test Program is, then, is to watch the Super Bowl for Amazon’s commercials — which is likely the whole purpose.

Updated February 1, 2019, with the full Amazon Super Bowl television commercial.

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