Journalism and Mass Communications, College of


Date of this Version

Winter 2018


Journal of Brand Strategy 7:3 (Winter 2018–19), pp. 239–251.


Copyright © 2018 Henry Stewart Publications. Used by permission.


The Internet of Things promises to make relationships with technology more personal than ever. Voice-controlled virtual or artificial intelligence assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant execute the commands of their users, providing information, entertainment, utility, and convenience while enabling consumers to bypass the advertising they would typically see on a screen. This “screen-less” communication presents significant challenges for brands used to “pushing” messages to audiences in exchange for the content they seek in hopes of creating preference. It also raises ethical questions about data collection, usage, and privacy. Little is known about the role marketing will play in the increasingly connected, voice-controlled home. This case study explores critical cases to describe the implications, applications, and opportunities for voice-controlled personal assistants in marketing and advertising in the USA.