Amazon has been a key trendsetter in incorporating assistive conversational agents into people's lives through Alexa-powered devices. Alexa has especially gained attention for its growing usage by customers with disabilities. Through Alexa’s vast capacity to serve users of all abilities, Alexa has redefined what assistive technology, interdependence, and accessibility means for these communities.
While modern technology increasingly plays a role in solving problems that customers with disabilities face, the marketing industry still lags far behind when it comes to representing them in the actual brand work.
As a technology we are intensely committed towards serving users of all abilities, so as a brand we wanted to take this opportunity to deepen our connection with these communities.
Our aim was to build credibility with communities living with disabilities and own our commitment to broadening our relationships with them.
We created a storytelling program, Alexa Stories, for real users to share their unique experiences with unscripted authenticity and candor. We produced a video series profiling life-changing stories of how people around the world experience every day with assistance from Alexa. Alexa Stories gave customers the opportunity to tell their own story, speak on our behalf, demonstrate how we are using our scale for good, and instill a sense of community and connection through using Alexa technology.
A simple but effective strategy:
Owned Media: Leveraged our massive Amazon.com and Alexa landing page as a platform to host the videos, detail the specific skills, tools, and features that contributed to each story, and serve to show the global level of impact Alexa has on consumers with disabilities. We also amplified these stories on screens at Amazon Bookstores and 4-star stores, on-device screens, our Alexa monthly newsletters and in marketing activations such as retail store screens and display ads.
Owned/Paid Social: Hosted our full series of Alexa Stories on the Alexa YouTube channel with cross-promotion on both Amazon and Alexa social channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Earned Media: To generate maximum coverage we pitched each individual Alexa Stories video to relevant local media, knowing we could depend on human interest and community reporting as the best opportunity for earned coverage.
As the New York Times put it, “for many people smart-home capabilities are a convenience or a luxury, but for those who live with accessibility challenges, the technology allows them to live a more independent and empowered life…Convenience for you is independence for me.”
We saw a massive response in the narrative around the impact smart-home devices can have for consumers with disabilities. Alexa Stories drove statistically significant lift in Alexa brand trust (+40%) and Amazon brand trust perceptions (+55%). The collection of YouTube videos collectively drove 5.4MM views with an average view duration of 0:29 second higher than the channel average. Across social media channels, the campaign drove over 1.05MM impressions, 238k engagements, and a blended ER of 22.70% (vs. 8.01% benchmark). Our consumers responded in droves - a testament to just how revelatory these stories were. Below are just a few of the examples of some of the powerful messages of hope and celebration.
The Alexa Stories program isn’t just a portrayal of customers with disabilities in a singular ad, it is one part of our deeper commitment towards the accessibility for all that will always be a core priority for the Alexa brand.