Advertising A-Game for Google Assistant

Since December, Google has brought their marketing campaign A-game for Google Assistant. They’ve rolled out a series of ads featuring popular Hollywood films that mash-up technology and pop culture to appeal to our collective nostalgia. The first two ads released featured Macaulay Culkin reprising his role as Kevin McCallister from Home Alone, with a third set of ads drawing from a series of famous movies reimagined if Google Assistant had been around to assist the lead characters.

The first ad, Home Alone Again with Google Assistant reimagined the ‘90s holiday classic Home Alone with an adult Culkin reprising the role of Kevin, but this time, with a Google Assistant-powered home.

Released this past December—just in time for holiday shopping—it featured Culkin using an array of Google Assistant powered devices to help with some of the most famous schemes of the movie. These  ranged from setting a reminder to add aftershave to his shopping list, to a high-tech custom “Operation Kevin” routine that locks doors, controls the temperature, and turn on the lights. We also see a Roomba powered cutout  of NBA star Kevin Durant (a nod to the original movie’s Michael Jordan cut-out) all set to the tune of Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” as Kevin tries to deter the Wet Bandits.

In early February, this time set for the Super Bowl, Google brought us a second Home Alone-themed ad, this one starring the leader of the Wet Bandits, Joe Pesci himself. In it, we see Pesci surrounded by friends, watching Culkin's Home Alone Again with Google Assistant ad at a Super Bowl party feeling nostalgic. He shushes the party crowd when the ad starts playing on tv as he explains the premise of the commercial to them. Watching the ad, it’s almost like we are all Pesci, the sweeping nostalgia for Home Alone overtakes us as we smile and laugh at an aging Culkin trying to reprise his role of Kevin.

Also in February, Google came out with an a slightly different ad campaign also featuring Google Assistant just in time for the 91st Academy Awards Ceremony. This time, they expanded the repertoire to include a wider array of iconic or popular films ranging from Psycho and 2001: A Space Odyssey to The Hangover, Ladybird, Scream, Jerry Maguire, and Deadpool.

The ads included a longer montage set to Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones as well as shorter single-film clips, which reimagined plot twists if only characters had been able to enlist the help of Google Assistant. In these new scenes, Google comes to the rescue saving time or assisting characters with their dilemma.  The movie scenes used in the #HeyGoogle, Let’s Go to the Movies commercial include Dr. David Bowman using a Google Home Mini to bypass HAL-9000, Lady Bird ordering a Lyft ride on her Pixel 3 XL to escape her mother, Marion Crane deciding against spending the night at the Bates Motel after hearing it only had one-star reviews, and Deadpool being reminded by his Google Home Hub that he was scheduled to appear in a Google commercial. The collection of ads were released during the transmission of the Oscars ceremony as well as in the form of a series of Tweets by @Google with the hashtags #HeyGoogle #Oscars.

Videos posted:
Home Alone Again with Google Assistant ad by Google released December 19, 2018.

Joe Pesci watches Home Alone Again ad by Google, February 1, 2019.

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