Nearly every pundit knows that the Super Bowl, aside from being one of the most anticipated Sports events annually, is also a prime cache of new million-dollar advertisements guaranteed to garner spectacular viewership, and Google has joined that roster this year, but not without a slight mishap.
Early during the Super Bowl, Google's ad for Home, its own voice-activated smart speaker, aired on millions of TVs. The ad is a loving, if treacly homage to households, the families that live inside them, and the familial love fostered inside each one, but more on that later. The problem is, the ad contained the phrase "Okay, Google," which is the device's trigger phrase.
Google Home Devices Triggered
According to The Verge, that same phrase apparently activated a number of Google Home devices across the country, which, upon hearing the words uttered on the TV, possibly treated the phrase as a command, thereby setting off.
"Google Home commercial kept setting mine off! They need to chill it with the "okay Google"-ing," Twitter user Bill Radjewski said.
Amazon Echo Knows A Thing Or Two About Accidental Commands
This isn't the first time a particular content on TV triggered smart speakers. Last month a TV broadcast accidentally triggered a handful of Amazon Echo devices to order products online. A TV report detailing a cutesy tech mishap involving an Echo and a child unfortunately contained the words "Alexa ordered me a dollhouse," which upon being uttered set off Echo devices by owners who at the time were tuned in to the broadcast.
Google Home Ad
The ad was about, as previously mentioned, Home, Google's attempt to usurp Amazon's stake in the smart speaker race. The 60-seconder shows a number of household scenarios — turning on the lights, amping up the music, and more — aided by the smart speaker with a simple "Okay, Google."
The ad clearly celebrates the concept of family, different kinds of which are shown bonding over activities by some measure by the enabled speaker, whether it's translating a language, or searching for an alternative cooking ingredients. Although CNET's Chris Matyszczyk has already described the ad as a gracious and unapologetic nod to "your need to be lazy," the ad proves heartwarming enough to be merited.
Google Home is the Mountain View, California company's answer to rival Echo, a smart speaker packed with Alexa, Amazon's voice-enabled virtual assistant. Alexa has these things called "skills," which enable users to bark commands to the smart speaker that initiates a handful of features.
Other tech companies who are joining this year's roster of Super Bowl ads are Nintendo, Intel, T-Mobile, GoDaddy, and more. Fox is charging around $5 million for a 30-seconder this time around, as per Geekwire, so Google likely shelled out a bit more for its minute-long ad.
Connected devices and appliances are becoming increasingly mainstream, and both Google and Amazon have emerged as the chief competitors of the field, although Amazon certainly had an early lead.
You can watch the Google Home ad below.