As soon as Amazon introduced its version of Apple’s Siri called “Amazon Echo,” YouTube was flooded with parodies of Amazon’s YouTube commercial, making fun of the device.
For those unfamiliar with the new Amazon offering, it is a cylinder device that sits in the middle of a room in your house and answers questions. It also can help with “To Do” lists and other tasks. The seemingly only difference between Echo and Siri is you don’t have to pick it up and talk into it, just speak from anywhere in the room.
Amazon put various versions of the Echo commercial on YouTube as does every company. And doing so presents a perfect opportunity for would-be humorists to download the commercial and overdub the voices to make fun of the device.
This is nothing new. It is done for virtually every product. But if you watch the original Amazon Echo commercial, it is prime for a parody. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=amazon+echo+commercial
Because “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” parodies of products are not necessarily a bad thing. We’ve seen in other instances that when a commercial is made fun of, more people are drawn to watch the funny commercials and while the copies are usually not kind, they bring awareness to the product. In the case of the Amazon Echo, with all the copies of the commercial floating around YouTube, it seems likely more people will find the parody first and then seek out the real commercial to check out the product.
So should Amazon be angry that its Echo is being made fun of, or should it be happy? It seems to me that those who think the device is useless (as many of the commercials point out), are not potential customers anyway. But there will be a percentage of viewers that will now be made aware of the device and probably purchase it.
If I were advising Amazon, I would say that its commercial is brilliant in providing people with fodder to make fun of its device and thereby spreading the word. As I said previously, this is not the first time it has occurred and won’t be the last, but it may be the new marketing strategy when bringing a product to market. Make a commercial that is prime for parody and the word will spread much faster.