“Home Alone Again with the Google Assistant” paid homage to Home Alone, the classic 1990s holiday movie that has become a holiday movie staple.
The campaign recreated a number of iconic scenes with actor Macaulay Culkin, 28 years after he played the role of Kevin McCallister, a cheeky 8-year-old left alone in his family home over the Christmas holiday.
In each replicated scene, Kevin uses the Google Assistant app on a range of Google Connected Home devices,
At the start of the video, when Kevin wakes up, he asks a Google Nest Hub Max device, “What is on the calendar today?” Its witty response: “You have one event called ‘house to yourself.’
Kevin asks his Google Pixel Phone to add aftershave to his shopping list after running out in the bathroom scene. Then, in the scene which finds Kevin jumping on the bed, Kevin asks his red Google Home Mini device to remind him to clean the sheets later.
To recreate the pizza delivery scene, Kevin uses a Google Nest Hello Doorbell to tell the delivery person to, “Keep the change, you filthy animal” — without having to move from the sofa. In another scene, Kevin asks Google Assistant to help turn down the temperature.
In the final remade scene, Kevin fends off the burglars, Harry and Marv, by instructing Google to ‘begin operation Kevin.’ This scene features Google Assistant’s ability to create customized routines. “Begin operation Kevin” turned on specific lights, locked a door, and moved around an automated vacuum cleaner that held up a mannequin.
The core theme of the campaign, home automation with Google Assistant-enabled devices, is cleverly driven into the minds of viewers — especially the nostalgic watchers who grew up with the original Home Alone.
AdAge’s AcuityAds analysis revealed that the Home Alone Again campaign was the most-viewed holiday ad of 2018, racking up 70.7 million views in 2018 alone.
The campaign also managed to generate a lot of comparison and blooper outtake videos on YouTube.
Holiday Marketing Takeaway
The old can become new again — if you’re clever enough. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion, but a humorous and modern twist makes it relevant for the season.