We previously reported here on how Amazon, the world’s largest online retail platform, has finally released a final 20 list of the various North American cities that they are considering to build their “HQ2” second corporate headquarters on. It has been close to a month since they announced that, but since then no further peep has been made on whether the company has made a decision or not. However, some observers were of the opinion that Amazon may have made a choice already, and that hints of their selection can be found in the Super Bowl ad for Amazon Alexa.
For those who might have missed it, Amazon’s commercial for their Alexa smart speaker that aired during Super Bowl LII on Sunday had a rather hilarious premise wherein Alexa’s voice abruptly sputters out with a coughing fit one day, all over the world. As Amazon boss Jeff Bezos (as himself) worries over this seeming system glitch, a tech head assures him that their emergency protocol of replacement voices for the speaker are ready to take over while the default one is being fixed.
What followed is a comedy of extremes as a guy asking his Alexa for a sandwich recipe is chewed out by Gordon Ramsay; rapper Cardi B fails to provide the correct distance from Earth to Mars, or play country music when prompted; “Pitch Perfect” star Rebel Wilson gives Aussie-accented mood narration instead of mood music; and Sir Anthony Hopkins charms a girl away from her scheduled date.
It’s all done in good fun – the Amazon ad even won the Super Bowl Ad Meter this year – but analysts have spotted a thread regarding the possible site for HQ2 underneath the humor, according to USA Today. The number one suspect city was mentioned in the ad by the default Alexa voice before she fades into coughing; the smart speaker was reporting on weather conditions in Austin, which is indeed one of the final 20 candidate locations. Several social media discussions were of the same opinion that it might be a cool Easter-Egg stealth announcement of the winning HQ2 city.
Not so fast, says Amazon on Monday, February 5, a mere day after Super Bowl LII. Their statement addressing the rumor effectively killed said rumor when they said that the Alexa commercial had absolutely nothing to do with the search for HQ2. Oh well, so much for that bright idea.
The winning HQ2 location in North America will be the lucky recipient of a $5-billion investment sum from Amazon to build the headquarters. Said project will also generate no less than 50,000 jobs for the local population, all of which are described to be “high-paying” in terms of salary grades.
Photo courtesy of dailymail.co.uk