Alexa, play Barry White..

Alexa, play Barry White..  ‘We’ve added baby wipes to your shopping list’…


Christmas day 2019. Watching my parents try and work their new smart speaker that I had bought them, was entertaining.  Have I made a mistake?  Will they use it? Should I have stuck with the jumper and scarf gift ideas that I originally had?..


Christmas Day 2020.  The world is in a different place.  Most of us are mentally in a different place.  I arrive to my parents with Christmas gifts once again.  (This time a jumper and the scarf.) I’ve learnt -  play it safe.


As I walk in I hear music playing.  Barry White? No. A Christmas playlist coming from the smart speaker.  Alexa (from the kitchen); ‘Your 20-minute timer is up’.  My mum is having a conversation with the ‘other’ woman in the house and they are getting along. Very well in fact!  She’s cooking with her, a brand-new recipe that she’s discovered.

Since the start of lockdown my parents have started to rely on Alexa for recipe ideas, reminders to take their daily medication or hospital appointments, puzzles to help keep the brain thinking, telling my dad even worse dad jokes then he can tell himself.  The bit that I noticed the most was how confident they were with using this device and not even thinking about it.

My dad telling me about his favourite podcasts that he’s listening to at the moment and asking if I listen to podcasts!  Telling me about places in the world they want to visit on their next cruise (when they are allowed) because they have been listening to travel content and educating themselves.

When we think of voice technology, we assume it’s for the ‘young kids of today’, however, according to Statista, over 12% of UK smart speaker owners are now over 55. Lockdown has introduced a wider audience to voice assistants with boredom encouraging people to try out new products or even to just speak to a smart speaker more often!

My parents are just a small example of how the older generation are adopting modern habits, by acting strategically with your marketing, you can create your own voice activated brand environment to communicate with this captive audience. 

Your customers are talking – But are you listening ?


*according to a study from GfK in partnership with TechUK.