Bafta pays tribute to Ridley Scott: 10 of the best ads by the legendary filmmaker

“It’s been 40 years in this business and this is the first time they’ve ever given me anything so I’m not going to go quietly,” a triumphant Ridley Scott said during his acceptance speech last night.

But Scott’s impact on popular culture goes far beyond creating cinematic masterpieces such as Alien and Blade Runner. Not only did he hone his craft making TV commercials, he went on to direct some of the most groundbreaking and important ads for global brands of the 20th century.

In accepting his award from Bafta, Scott added: “Today the explosion of content platforms and social media have made this a far more accessible and democratic art form with an unprecedented reach, 24/7, 365 days. The opportunity to create authentic and relevant engagement, the future of film and storytelling can have, must have, a profound effect.

“As storytellers, we have a duty to be mindful how we use this power. We must strive to protect the core tenet of the narrative, that all the best stories tend to come from the truth, even fiction.”

So Campaign has curated some of Scott’s best work in the commercial sphere, some of which will be all too familiar and others less so.

1. Apple “1984” by Chiat\Day (1984)

Thirty-four years later and this ad is still considered a masterpiece, not least for the sheer bravery of making a spot about computers without showing a single device or even naming the brand.

2. Hovis “Bike” by Collett Dickenson Pearce (1973)

There are very few ads one can remember after 40 years, but Hovis’ iconic “boy on a bike” ad was such a success for the brand that it reprised the idea (not for the first time) in 2015. The ad shows a delivery boy freewheeling down a cobbled northern hill.

3. Chanel No 5 “Share the fantasy” (1979)

Scott again pushed the boundaries for the fashion brand with a timeless spot.

4. Pepsi “The choice of a new generation” by DDB (1985)

At a time when erotic advertising was considered risque, DDB created a sensual ad for Chanel No 5 that introduced the tagline, “Share the fantasy”.

5. Nissan “Built for the human race” (1990)

Filmed for the 1990 Super Bowl, this controversial ad is known for being pulled after a single airing after Nissan executives became afraid it would promote street racing.

6. Orange “In the future…” by WCRS (1998)

One of many prescient ads directed by Scott, the ad takes a tongue-in-cheek look at a future where technology has become oppressive. It opens with a postman delivering letters to some delighted children as the voiceover declares: “Email will make the written word a thing of the past”.

7. Benson & Hedges “Underground” by CDP (1973)

The same year as Hovis, Scott directed a heist-themed ad for the cigarettes brand that featured a maturing in the filmmaker’s style. From copying American-style ads in the early 1970s, Scott began to feature more noticeably British characters in films, set in darker and more class-conscious tones.

8. Barclays “The customer service programme” (1980)

Imagine a dark, dystopian world where you can’t get proper customer service from your bank. This ad preceded a familar Barclays slogan: “Do you sometimes think the bigger a bank gets, the smaller your problems will seem to them?”

9. WR Grace “Deficit trials” (1986)

This bleak, futuristic ad depicts a scene 31 years in the future, in which the children of America have placed their elders on trial. An old man, standing in a glass-enclosed witness box, is pleading before an adolescent prosecutor and a jury of children. Shot in an abandoned church in London, the eerily lit courtroom suggests that the deficit has brought economic collapse.

10. Croft Original (1977)

Croft Original was one of several cream sherry campaigns that Scott worked on in the ’70s that were based on PG Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster characters. This 1977 spot stars a very young Jeremy Irons as Bertie Wooster.


How Mobile is Changing the Car Buyer Journey in Europe (Source: Facebook)

From previous Facebook IQ automotive research in the US and Brazil, we know that mobile is helping to drive a shift in the auto path to purchase. Whereas people may have once relied solely on dealer information, they can now check their smartphones while on the go and use friends, family and social media as resources and to help them gather intel. But what’s happening in Europe? What is the impact of mobile on the car purchase journey in France, the UK and Germany? With almost half of European smartphone users spending three or more hours on their mobile device each day,1European car brands would benefit from understanding the opportunities and challenges this presents.

Facebook IQ conducted a three-pronged study to understand how car buyers now shop. Firstly, we commissioned GfK to survey 1,500 people in the UK, France and Germany, who had either bought a new car in the prior 12 months (buyers) or who said they are looking to buy a car in the next months (in-market shoppers). Then GfK looked at historical laptop and mobile data for 50 UK in-market shoppers and 50 UK buyers. And finally, they conducted face-to-face interviews with 20 in-market shoppers and buyers in the UK.


We discovered that the process of buying a car is a multi-screen and social activity, and that brand and features, not offer price, can be more of a determining factor when it comes to choosing a car.

The auto path to purchase is a multi-screen journey

Our research revealed that a path to purchase a vehicle in Europe lasts up to 24 weeks, spans five distinct phases across devices and happens both on- and offline.

Car buyers used to begin their search for a car at a dealership, but today they tend to visit a dealership only after they’ve settled on two or three brands and models. Many in-market shoppers said they use their mobile phones to find inspiration, for example, over a third of people (34%) said they use their smartphone to browse visual content related to cars from other consumers. When it comes to research, laptops and desktops are the dominant device, with 69% of in-market shoppers saying they use their laptop/desktop for conducting research on manufactures websites.2


The automotive path to purchase in Europe spans five phases2


Each of these phases afford automotive brands the opportunity to potentially engage with and influence in-market buyers in a relevant way. For example, during the qualifying consideration phase, an in-market shopper tended to select 3-4 brands to explore more later, so that’s a potential window where your brand could help her shorten her list. Later, she’ll likely be looking for support to help her ensure choices of model, features and financing are the right ones for her. If you communicate with your in-market buyers in the right way at the right time, you reduce the risk of being seen to bombard them.

I made an inquiry about a car and have not been left alone by the company since. If I want more information I will gladly ask for it, please stop sending me emails and calling me. When I am ready to make a purchase I will make the calls.

Adele, 33 years old

When we asked people about the source they consulted while considering their purchases, the top sources ranked fairly evenly — from friends and family (31%) to car reviews and news sites (30%), from manufacturer/brand websites (37%) to dealer websites (32%).2

The online monitoring in the UK, showed six in ten of the 50 media-tracked UK in-market shoppers browsed Facebook while conducting their research, and of these, most (72%) do so on mobile. These 50 in-market shoppers visited Facebook, on average, 44.7 times in the month prior to purchasing a new car, Instagram 6.9 times and the manufacturers sites 5.4 times.4

Think brand and features — not price

When we asked which were the most important features influencing a car purchase decision, we can see that brand and features tend to determine what cars people buy, whereas the offer and the dealer are far less important. Perhaps buyers are less reliant on dealers than they once were, as they can get accurate, frequently updated information just by checking their smartphones.


Brand/make and model of car were cited as the most important purchase influencing factors3

Friends and family are more influential than dealers

So, who or what is influencing the decision to purchase a car? As we highlighted earlier, our research shows that 31% of respondents said they rely on the advice of friends and family during the consideration phase of their purchase journey.2 How do they get this advice? Some 40% of media-tracked UK respondents use Facebook to reach out to family and friends.4

If we look closer at the influence of friends and family, we find the network of influence is wide, but that the key influencers are closely connected to the person buying the car. For example, our survey found that a person’s partner is 1.68X more influential, and friends are 1.63X more influential, than a dealer.

The friends and family network is wide, but key influencers are close1

What it means for marketers

  • Keep conversing with in-market shoppers.

    People settle on two or three brands and models early in the path to purchase, so an always-on approach is important to drive awareness and consideration. With so many automotive conversations taking place on social and with friends and family, brands should think about how they can keep having conversations with in-market shoppers throughout the year, not just during periods like product launch.

  • Make the most of multi-screen.

    The new path-to-purchase — fueled by online research and social media — opens up new opportunities. Auto brands now have the opportunity to combine the best aspects of a visit to a dealer — personalization, customization, information exchange — with the powerful targeting, relevancy and reach of online.

  • Measure and optimize.

    People-based marketing can help empower automotive marketing teams to engage with in-market buyers based on the intent those buyers have shown online, including on mobile devices, which are largely invisible to standard online cookie-based tracking methods. Find out more about how to use the Facebook Pixel, which makes conversion tracking, optimization and remarketing easier.

Socialyse (Havas Media Group) finit en force le mercato d’hiver.

En ce début d’année, Havas Media Group enregistre l’arrivée de nouveaux éléments dans son département Social Media, dont celui du nouveau Head Of Ruben Ceuppens (ex-Ogilvy & Social.Lab).

Déjà très active l’an passé, Socialyse dispose d’une équipe renforcée par l’arrivée de nouveaux profils. L’agence a en effet récemment enregistré les arrivées d’Aurélie Tsosscos (ex-OMD) et de Valentin Mazzara (ex-IPG Mediabrands, ex-Dentsu Aegis) en tant que Senior Social Traders, mais aussi celle d’Audrey Vanhoegaerden (ex-The Walt Disney Company) en tant que Community Manager. L’équipe comptait déjà en son sein Maxime Moreau, Bastien Glineur et Cedric Vanhamme (ex-Ecselis).

Fin 2017, Socialyse s’est implanté au cœur du Village Havas et les synergies avec la créa se font déjà sentir.  Un rapprochement qui fait du sens compte tenu de la volonté de maximiser le potentiel de l’intégration des activités de contenu dans les activités médias, et particulièrement le social media. Ruben Ceuppens mettra à profit son expérience de plus de 5 ans en tant que stratège digital pour relever ce défi.


Hugues Rey, CEO Havas Media : « Plus que jamais, nous sommes bien conscients que l’asset n°1 d’une agence est son capital humain. C’est la raison pour laquelle nous avons pris le parti d’investir dans la séniorité et dans la diversité, afin d’affiner notre offre mais également de faire grandir les nombreux talents déjà présents. Le terrain de jeu pour Socialyse est immense et répond à des collaborations de plus en plus abouties et innovantes avec nos clients.» 


About Havas Group

Havas is one of the world’s largest global communications groups. Founded in 1835 in Paris, the Group now employs 20,000 people in over 100 countries. Havas Group is committed to being the world’s best company at creating meaningful connections between people and brands through creativity, media and innovation. Havas is also the most integrated Group in its sector: the #Together Strategy is implemented through Havas Villages where most creative and media teams share the same premises which increases synergies for clients and better serve their needs. Havas Group is organized into two divisions: Havas Creative Group and Havas Media Group. Havas Creative Group incorporates the Havas Worldwide network (, present in 75 countries, the Arnold micro-network (, 10 agencies in 9 countries, as well as several leading agencies including BETC and the Fullsix Group. Havas Media Group ( is made up of three media brands, Havas Media (, Arena Media ( and Fullsix Media all of which work alongside Havas Sports & Entertainment (, the industry’s largest global brand engagement network. Further information about Havas Group is available on the company’s website:





Contact – Infos


Hugues Rey

Chief Executive Officer

Office Rue Des Boiteux 9, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgique – Kreupelenstraat 9, 1000 Brussel, België



Tel +32 2 435 35 01

Mob +32 496 26 06 88


Havas U.S Chief Strategy Officer Greg James shares his thoughts in AdWeek on Facebook’s changes to the kinds of posts, videos and photos users see—and what it means for advertisers.

Mark Zuckerberg is right, we need to focus people’s well-being.

Facebook has been under fire for chasing dollars rather than ‘likes’, Marc Pritchard is sainted for trashing the “content crap trap” and every day another news story breaks on the ease of inadvertently attaching a brand’s content to racist, sexist or violent images—all in the (often automated) name of reaching ‘ever more accurate’ eyeballs for ‘ever decreasing’ CPMs.

So we live in risky times it seems, or at least a time when the overwhelming volume and variety of content that can be monetized has created a thrashing sea of opportunity or perhaps instead a classic issue of quantity over quality—and the tide has to turn.

The story goes that planning and buying media has never been more automated or more accurate—so why aren’t we in a utopian world of marketing ROAS being so incredible we’re all buying new Hamptons homes and spending the winter in St. Barts?

Well, over the past 10 years at Havas we’ve been tracking how ‘meaningful’ a brand is to consumers. Sadly, as we’ve published our findings every 18 months or so, we know from some 300,000 consumers surveyed that brands are losing their meaning, not gaining it. At this point, in the U.S., 74 percent of brands could disappear tomorrow and no one would care—practically everything can be substituted, switched or forgotten.

In those same 10 years, the single biggest boom in advertising opportunity has been digital reach—exponential growth year on year, month on month. The first Meaningful Brands survey was in 2008—a year when digital ad spend in the U.S. was $21 billion—today it’s forecast is over $90 billion. If it’s so much more accurate and compelling, why is it not playing a greater role in building meaningfulness for our brands?

The explosion of digital opportunity has done several things to media clients and agencies but here’s two that seem pretty important to me: Firstly, a move to digital-first planning and audience buying has inherently impacted the planning process for clients. In many cases the appeal of automation and digitization has led to a shift in resources away from traditional planning methods that can look kind of outdated in a universe that seems to hold all the answers.

Clients are generally less inclined to invest in workshop discussions around the customer mindset, journey and persona—why would they when analytics has the answers, right?

The second and more significant impact of the digital revolution is price. And here’s where Mark Zuckerberg, agencies and clients are all guilty. In Facebook’s case, post IPO, the business had to keep delivering new revenues as fast as it was delivering new users, but in mature markets like the U.S. Facebook was just that—mature—so revenue trumped experience and ad dollars were the priority. The user experience began to suffer as we chased these high-value eyeballs and ironically the very act of advertising on the platform so heavily degraded the value of Facebook to the user. We’re our own worst enemy.

So it’s not just Zuckerberg and Facebook who think we should return to meaningful, fulfilling content among a real community. The same is true for advertisers and their agencies—we’ve been able to find ever cheaper, ever more programmatic audiences, but we haven’t always really thought about how meaningful that content was to the audience or our customer. Yes there’s brand safety measures in place, but it’s about more than that today. Just because it’s a safe space, doesn’t make it meaningful.

How do we return to meaningful interaction? Well first, the media owners have a duty of care which Zuckerberg’s announcement makes clear—focus on the audience, the customer, the user, give them an experience they value, (longer term thinking than short-term stock market KPIS!).

For the advertisers’ part, and their agencies, today we have to recognize that well beyond reach and frequency, our metrics are relevance and recency—recent is key because the noise comes at us so fast as consumers, and relevance above all because as audiences and customers our choices are endless.

At Havas we believe that we actually need to rethink what we are all trading in when we plan and buy media. We are making Meaningful Brands more than a benchmark global survey, we’re creating a new currency with which we go to market, moving beyond a GRP to an MRP—a Meaningful Rating Point.

In video, that means we no longer buy just on how big a show’s audience is, but instead we want to understand how meaningful this content is to the audience, so we factor in how many episodes in a season the audience is returning for, how loud these followers are about the show on social media or how keen they are to watch—live, C3 or C30.

Digitally, meaningfulness is much harder to navigate. All of us are fickle but there are power-brands at play in media today that have begun to truly mean something to their daily visitors and Facebook may still be king among them. Zuckerberg’s return to the values of the Facebook community could help us all find more meaning for customers in where we place our brands and deliver better results that truly help us create value for customer, company and communities.

These Are the Best 2018 Super Bowl Commercials (Source: Time)

Youtube—Amazon, Budweiser, Groupon

Updated: February 4, 2018 10:34 PM ET

Every year, the Super Bowl is not only football’s biggest stage, it’s also the height of advertising.

And the 2018 Super Bowl will be no different. Just as the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots battled for the championship at the Super Bowl LII, major companies and ad agencies fought for your attention.

With more than 100 million Americans were expected to tune in for football’s biggest game, commercials for companies grow more expensive and extensive with each year. According to Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports charged more than $5 million for a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl LII.

While that’s a lot of cash, that doesn’t include the costs to create a commercial that will grab attention and make headlines. Indeed, per tradition, the Super Bowl ads this year feature a slew of celebrities, cameos and special effects.

The Eagles won the 2018 Super Bowl, but these ads won the commercial breaks.

The Best Cameos

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos took a break from taking over the world to appear in his company’s Super Bowl commercial. But he wasn’t the only high-profile individual to make an appearance. Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, rapper Cardi B, actress Rebel Wilson and actor Anthony Hopkins took a shot at replacing Amazon’s Alexa in this 90-second ad. And, yes, we all now want Cardi B’s voice to replace Alexa’s for good. (We can assume that decision will be up to Bezos.)


While Amazon delivered with the cameos, Lionel Richie’s appearance in TD Ameritrade’s Super Bowl commercial is hard to beat. The ad shows representatives from the online brokerage trying to persuade Richie to reference his 1983 hit “All Night Long” to promote the company’s 24-hour, five-day-a-week trading. “Well, it means I can trade after the market closes,” Richie says. “It’s true,” one representative says. “So, All…” “Evening long,” Richie responds. Other ideas from Richie: “All Night through its entirety” and “the time from sunset to sunrise,” or “from darkness to light.”

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The Best Running Joke

Tide’s use of Stranger Things’s David Harbour and hilarious running jokes almost made viewers forget about the whole Tide Pods thing. Harbour stars in Tide’s Super Bowl commercial, where he appears in a series of spots that appear more fit for cars, beers, diamonds, soda, mattresses and deodorant. Each mini-ad within the commercial is, in fact, a Tide ad, Harbour tells viewers.

The most memorable part of the campaign was a bit of Proctor & Gamble cross-brand genius. Isaiah Mustafa, who’s best known in the advertising world as face of Old Spice. Instead of an Old Spice bottle, a Tide detergent bottle appears out of thin air in Mustafa’s hand as he sits shirtless on top of a white horse. Harbour sits behind him to remind the viewers that it was, indeed, a Tide ad.

Procter & Gamble owns both Tide and Old Spice, lest we forget.

The Best Break in Tradition

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The Budweiser Clydesdales took a break once again this year in the company’s new and emotional Super Bowl commercial. Instead of promoting its beer, Budweiser used its ad to show the work that went into bottling water this year in response to numerous natural disasters all over the world, including in Puerto Rico and California. Budweiser has donated 79 million cans of drinking water in response crises around the world during the last 30 years, the company said. The ad, which follows one factory worker who helps bottle the water, is set to the song “Stand By Me.” Last year, Budweiser’s ad focused on the story of its co-founder, who immigrated from Germany to the U.S.

The Best Dumb Joke

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Febreze went all in on the story of “The Only Man Whose Bleep Don’t Stink.” That is, the only guy who doesn’t leave behind a gross smell when he exits the bathroom. This documentary-style commercial focuses on the story of this man — Dave — with interviews with his parents, his former wrestling coach and his ex-girlfriend. The stand-outs, certainly, are Dave’s parents: “My friend — her son’s a lawyer. But, my son — his bleep don’t stink,” says the mom. “That’s better than being a lawyer,” the dad responds proudly.

The Best Appeal to Football-Watching Bros

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Chances are you’ve heard the phrase “Dilly Dilly.” Bud Light’s popular catchphrase — perhaps most commonly used amongst college-aged boys — returns in the company’s two-part Super Bowl commercial. Set in a fantastical world a la Game of Thrones, the ad builds upon others from the company that results in a battle between the underdogs and an eager army — all over a few cases of Bud Light. The battle concludes when the Bud Knight gallops into the battle on horseback, grabs some beer for himself then uses his sword to conjure some kind of magical power that wins the battle for the underdogs.

The Best Thing That Could’ve Happened to Lexus

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In perhaps the most conveniently timed Super Bowl commercial of all, Lexus and Marvel partnered to create a commercial that somehow leads you to believe the Black Panther drives a 2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport. The cool-factor of the luxury car, which is available this month, is greatly aided by the star of the highly anticipated Marvel film Black Panther, which comes out Friday, Feb. 16. King T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman, stars in the ad, where he runs through the streets and leaps in the air, diving through the car’s sunroof.

The Best Reminder That We Do Not Deserve Tiffany Haddish

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Groupon has kindly reminded us all that we do not deserve comedian Tiffany Haddish. The break-out star of Girls Trip graces Groupon with her presence and asks, “What kind of person wouldn’t want to support local business?” The ad then flashes to a wealthy man, saying he does not support local businesses, and opens the door only to get punted in the stomach with a football. That must’ve not felt too good, responds Haddish with her iconic laugh.

The Best Song of Ice and Fire

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A Doritos-Mountain Dew battle is afoot, and apparently actors Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman are the representatives for each. The commercial features a rap battle between the two actors, with Dinklage sinisterly lip-synching Busta Rhymes’s verse on “Look At Me Now”and Freeman retorting with Missy Elliot’s “Get Your Freak On.” More can be expected to the ad, as Doritos says “only one can win.”(And, yes, Games of Thrones fans have already pointed out that Tyrion Lannister himself is in a Super Bowl commercial that could, in fact, convey The Song of Ice and Fire.)

The Best Message

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Following the path set by its commercials of the past, Coca-Cola used its Super Bowl commercial this year to celebrate diversity. Called “The Wonder of Us,” minute-long commercial shows people around the world drinking different Coca-Cola products. A poem accompanying the ad notes that there’s a Coke out there “for he, and she, and her, and me, and them,” which elicited positive responses from some consumer who lauded the company for recognizing gender neutral people.

The Best Ad for Sad Minnesota Vikings Fans

Ram Trucks promoted its new Ram 1500 with the help of a group of vikings, excitedly heading to the Super Bowl in Minneapolis. The Vikings were in for a surprise, though, when they appear to find out the Minnesota Vikings indeed did not make it to football’s biggest game. The best part of the ad? The warning at the end: “Never ride in the bed of a truck unless you are an authentic Viking.”

The Best Touchdown Celebration

Sure, the Eagles and the Patriots were the ones actually scoring at the Super Bowl this year, but the New York Giants may have the best touchdown celebrations. In a commercial for the NFL, Odel Beckham, Jr., and Eli Manning of the New York Giants channeled their best moves during a touchdown celebration in practice — with the duo even completing the iconic lift from Dirty Dancing.

The Most Non-Political Political Ad

In a Super Bowl all but devoid of politics, Illinois-based car floor liner company WeatherTech came closet to political commentary. The commercial showed the construction of a new 125,000-square-foot facility in Bolingbrook. The spot ended with the simple message, “At WeatherTech, we built our new factory in America. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?” WeatherTech has long advertised that its products are made in the United States.

The Best of Famous Actors Doing Weird Things

Danny DeVito being the human version of an M&M is probably one of those things that you’ve never thought about. But once you do, it all makes so much sense.

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Meanwhile, Friends star David Schwimmer keeps up with Skittle’s odd sense of humor in the teasers for its 2018 Super Bowl commercial.

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And Bill Hader shows off his comedic range in Pringles’s Super Bowl ad, where he says “wow” in the most obscure ways possible.

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Other Honorable Mentions

Perhaps still recovering from its controversial 2017 ad featuring Kendall Jenner, Pepsistuck to its roots in its 2018 Super Bowl commercial. The ad looks back at the company’s past, with an appearance from Cindy Crawford and a shout-out to Britney Spears.

Chris Pratt trains to star in Michelob Ultra’s Super Bowl commercial by running, lifting and practicing his poses — but ends up being directed to the line of extras for it instead.

Australia’s biggest movie stars — and Danny McBride — came to support tourism to the Land Down Under in a Super Bowl commercial that appeared more like a trailer for a film called “Dundee.” Chris Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie, Russell Crowe, Isla Fisher, Ruby Rose, Liam Hemsworth, Jessica Mauboy and Luke Bracey star alongside McBride in the commercial.

Retail Revolution: Inside Amazon Go, a Store of the Future

The technology inside Amazon’s new convenience store, opening Monday in downtown Seattle, enables a shopping experience like no other — including no checkout lines.

A row of gates guards the entrance to Amazon Go.CreditKyle Johnson for The New York Times

SEATTLE — The first clue that there’s something unusual about Amazon’s store of the future hits you right at the front door. It feels as if you are entering a subway station. A row of gates guard the entrance to the store, known as Amazon Go, allowing in only people with the store’s smartphone app.

Inside is an 1,800-square foot mini-market packed with shelves of food that you can find in a lot of other convenience stores — soda, potato chips, ketchup. It also has some food usually found at Whole Foods, the supermarket chain that Amazon owns.

But the technology that is also inside, mostly tucked away out of sight, enables a shopping experience like no other. There are no cashiers or registers anywhere. Shoppers leave the store through those same gates, without pausing to pull out a credit card. Their Amazon account automatically gets charged for what they take out the door.

On Monday, the store will open to the public for the first time. Gianna Puerini, the executive in charge of Amazon Go, recently gave tours of the store, in downtown Seattle. This is a look at what shoppers will encounter.


CreditKyle Johnson for The New York Times

CreditKyle Johnson for The New York Times

There is no need for a shopping cart. Products can go straight into a shopping bag.CreditKyle Johnson for The New York Times

There are no shopping carts or baskets inside Amazon Go. Since the checkout process is automated, what would be the point of them anyway? Instead, customers put items directly into the shopping bag they’ll walk out with.

Every time customers grab an item off a shelf, Amazon says the product is automatically put into the shopping cart of their online account. If customers put the item back on the shelf, Amazon removes it from their virtual basket.

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The only sign of the technology that makes this possible floats above the store shelves — arrays of small cameras, hundreds of them throughout the store. Amazon won’t say much about how the system works, other than to say it involves sophisticated computer vision and machine learning software. Translation: Amazon’s technology can see and identify every item in the store, without attaching a special chip to every can of soup and bag of trail mix.


CreditKyle Johnson for The New York Times

There were a little over 3.5 million cashiers in the United States in 2016 — and some of their jobs may be in jeopardy if the technology behind Amazon Go eventually spreads. For now, Amazon says its technology simply changes the role of employees — the same way it describes the impact of automation on its warehouse workers.

“We’ve just put associates on different kinds of tasks where we think it adds to the customer experience,” Ms. Puerini said.

Those tasks include restocking shelves and helping customers troubleshoot any technical problems. Store employees mill about ready to help customers find items, and there is a kitchen next door with chefs preparing meals for sale in the store. Because there are no cashiers, an employee sits in the wine and beer section of the store, checking I.D.s before customers can take alcohol off the shelves.


CreditKyle Johnson for The New York Times

CreditKyle Johnson for The New York Times

CreditKyle Johnson for The New York Times

Most people who spend any time in a supermarket understand how vexing the checkout process can be, with clogged lines for cashiers and customers who fumble with self-checkout kiosks.

At Amazon Go, checking out feels like — there’s no other way to put it — shoplifting. It is only a few minutes after walking out of the store, when Amazon sends an electronic receipt for purchases, that the feeling goes away.

Actual shoplifting is not easy at Amazon Go. With permission from Amazon, I tried to trick the store’s camera system by wrapping a shopping bag around a $4.35 four-pack of vanilla soda while it was still on a shelf, tucking it under my arm and walking out of the store. Amazon charged me for it.


CreditKyle Johnson for The New York Times

CreditKyle Johnson for The New York Times

A big unanswered question is where Amazon plans to take the technology. It won’t say whether it plans to open more Amazon Go stores, or leave this as a one-of-a-kind novelty. A more intriguing possibility is that it could use the technology inside Whole Foods stores, though Ms. Puerini said Amazon has “no plans” to do so.

There’s even speculation that Amazon could sell the system to other retailers, much as it sells its cloud computing services to other companies. For now, visitors to Amazon Go may want to watch their purchases: Without a register staring them in the face at checkout, it’s easy to overspend.

Nick Wingfield is a technology correspondent based in Seattle. He covers Amazon, Microsoft and emerging technologies and has written on technology’s impact on economies in the Pacific Northwest. He was previously a reporter at The Wall Street Journal. @nickwingfield

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page B1 of the New York edition with the headline: Inside Amazon’s Store of the Future. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe