Burger King is launching full-fledged marketing blitz based on triggering voice-activated Google devices, in what could become a grim precedent for TV and radio ads talking directly to voice-activated gadgets like smartphones and Amazon's Echo speakers.
Voice-powered digital assistants such as Google Home and Amazon's Echo have been largely a novelty for consumers since Apple's Siri introduced the technology to the masses in 2011. "O.K. Google, what is the Whopper burger?" For instance, you can ask Google Home to read you the news or tell you the weather forecast.
While Burger King is far from the first to recognize that it's possible to mess with someone else's smart speaker, it's certainly the first to put it into a widely run ad campaign. Being able to distinguish between two or more voices in the home is useful for tailoring the services to personal preferences, but could also help prevent this type of device hijacking.
According to David Carroll, associate professor of media design at the Parsons School of Design, Burger King's approach might be a novel gimmick, but it will wear off fast.
Burger King's stunt is in contrast to the 2001 Xbox One commercial that accidentally turned on people's consoles when the phrase was uttered by Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul.
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Burger King didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Business Insider tested out the ad on Tuesday, and it worked. It's a clever way of getting viewers' attention, but it's also a really quick way of getting on viewers' nerves - just look at the reactions people had when ads accidentallytriggered voice assistants in the past.
The there was this Pixel commercial, where a Pixel user says "Ok Google, show me Korean restaurants in Boulder".
The company recently caught flak from Home owners by running what sounded quite a lot like an ad, about Disney's new live-action version of "Beauty and the Beast". Should companies try to break through your TV to continue their advertising via your connect devices? That should make you want to rush out and get one, surely.