Product / ServiceAMAZON ALEXA
CategoryG05. Cultural Insight
Idea Creation HOST HAVAS Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Idea Creation 2 ONE GREEN BEAN Sydney, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Jon Austin Host/Havas Sydney Executive Creative Director
Matt Ennis Host/Havas Sydney Creative Director
Gwen Thomas Host/Havas Sydney Jnr Creative
Al Ferrier Host/Havas Sydney Head of Production
Simone Gupta One Green Bean CEO
Hannah Stalder One Green Bean Head of Creative Services
Rebekah Allison One Green Bean Senior Account Director
Molly Dodwell One Green Bean Account Manager
Aimee Steadman One Green Bean Junior Project Manager
Courtney O’Shea One Green Bean Account Executive
Bridget Patterson One Green Bean Account Coordinator
Jen Beirne Amazon Alexa & Devices Marketing Director Amazon Alexa ANZ
Megan Ormbsy Amazon Alexa & Devices PR Manager
Will Moore Host/Havas Sydney Senior Planner

Why is this work relevant for PR?

An original, culturally relevant idea, “Aussies get Alexa. Because Alexa gets Aussies” was an idea built to generate PR that grew to encompass influencer, product integration and updates, content and customer experience. The campaign tapped into a cultural truth about our Aussie language that drove conversation and coverage amongst media and consumers, and notably moved the awareness and brand affinity dial for Amazon Alexa in Australia in a measurable way.


In the world of voice assistants, Amazon Alexa is a firm category leader around the world. In 2018, it was introduced to the Australian market where smart speaker adoption was rapidly increasing. While Australia has since surpassed the US in smart speaker adoption, the problem was Australians had adopted the competition. Aussies didn’t seem to get what Amazon Alexa offered. So, we needed to show that Alexa really understood Australians, and raise awareness of how Alexa’s thousands of features and skills could fit right into our unique way of life. We were briefed to come up with a creative concept that would work across digital, social and PR. The concept needed to: - Talk to heartland Australia - Drive brand awareness and brand recall - Celebrate Alexa as the driving force behind the content - Demonstrate Alexa's existing capabilities and routines - Be centred in entertainment

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

Our uniquely Australian take on the English language isn't just slang. Our conversational idiosyncrasies are a crucial part of how Australians connect with each other. The problem is, it's hard to understand for those outside the Aussie bubble; even for the world's most skilled voice assistant. To solve this, we worked directly with the Alexa product team to enhance the voice assistants' language muscle by teaching Alexa 100s of the most frequently used Australian slang, idioms, and Aussie-isms. We then linked these catch-phrases and terms to a vast array of routines, skills, and actions; bringing Alexa’s new language skills to life. Following Alexa’s language update, we recruited some of the nation's most iconic and relevant Aussies to show how Alexa could now understand "Aussie" in its day-to-day use. With more Aussie phrases being learned every day, Alexa isn't just sounding local, she's fitting right into our unique way of life.

Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)

In Australia, Amazon Alexa was late to the voice assistant market where Google Home was first to market and had lead in establishing the category. At the time, people buying into the category were early tech adopters. The challenge for Amazon Alexa was how it could take on the competition by engaging and enticing mainstream audiences to the fun and utility of Alexa the digital assistant. Through research, we identified two key barriers to overcome for mainstream audiences when it came to purchasing a voice assistant. 1) A lack of awareness for, and affinity towards, Amazon Alexa 2) People didn’t understand the benefits of owning an Alexa device Our strategy in a nutshell: Make people feel like they want to invite Alexa into their home by making her feel relatable, human, and most importantly, Aussie!

Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)

We didn’t just promote Alexa with an Aussie wrapper, we worked on the service and experience to make all touchpoints – product, content, campaign, customer experience – feel more Aussie. We taught Alexa how to respond to and understand the meaning of over 100 traditional and modern phrases to demonstrate Alexa understands the quirks and slang of our language. To launch, high-profile TV presenter Sophie Monk and TikTok comedians The Inspired Unemployed brought to life Alexa's latest Aussie capabilities in a content series that showed them in funny, relatable situations with Alexa. Supporting consumer research revealed Aussies sense of pride in our language. Dr. Amanda Laugesen, an Australian English expert, provided further insight around the evolution and culture of Australian language, and the value of this language now being part of digital interactions with Alexa. To further amplify, twelve leading influencers created content highlighting Alexa's Aussie personality and capabilities.

Please tell us about the cultural insight that inspired the work

When Alexa enters a new market, it's given an accent to make it feel more accessible and local. But simply giving Alexa an Australian accent isn't making Alexa a true voice assistant. In Australia, it's not just how we speak; it's what we say. Our slang serves as a proud cultural identifier, and we like that those colloquialisms separate and define us. Sure, we can speak to a voice assistant, but we can't speak naturally. We can't use the cultural colloquialisms that make us truly Australian. So we went beyond simply giving Alexa an Aussie accent and taught it the phrases and words that allowed Aussies to overcome smart speaker hesitancy making Alexa feel “like a mate”. Ultimately, we wanted Aussies to get Alexa, because they now know that Alexa gets Aussies.