MENU

Burger King Ad Tries To Hijack Google Home: Clever Marketing Stunt Or Invasion Of Privacy?

13 April 2017, 12:40 am EDT By Aaron Mamiit Tech Times
An advertisement released by Burger King looked to take advantage of the growing popularity of the Google Home smart speaker. Google has since ended the marketing stunt, which can be seen as both clever and invasive.  ( Justin Sullivan | Getty Images )

Burger King released an advertisement that was looking to take advantage of the growing popularity of Google Home, raising questions on whether the commercial was a clever marketing stunt or an invasion on the privacy of owners of the Google Assistant-powered device.

Google has since responded to the advertisement, but users should now be even more wary on what companies and brands may do with the Google Home.

Burger King Ad Activates Google Home

The controversial advertisement starts with a Burger King employee, who reveals that the commercial will only last for 15 seconds. That amount of time, the employee says, is not long enough to explain all the ingredients of the fast food chain's trademark Whopper burger.

The Burger King employee then leans forward and asks, "OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?"

Viewers with a Google Home device located near their TV will then hear the Google Assistant activate with the OK Google wake words mentioned in the advertisement. The device will then read the first sentence on the Wikipedia page of Burger King's Whopper.

Is The Burger King Ad Ingenious Or Annoying?

The advertisement could be seen as a clever way to get the attention of viewers, as the 15-second clip will lead to more information regarding the Whopper beyond its allocated time.

However, it is also being seen as an annoying one. The advertisement by Burger King is not the first video that hijacked the smart speakers of viewers, as a news report from a local TV station triggered orders for dollhouses across San Diego for Amazon Echo owners.

However, the Burger King advertisement is the first commercial that deliberately takes advantage of a smart speaker in a wide-reaching campaign.

Google Not Involved In Creation Of Burger King Ad

The advertisement was not done in partnership with Google, which has disabled it from functioning the way that Burger King wants to just a few hours after the video was released.

Google Home will no longer respond to the question being asked by the Burger King employee in the commercial, but will still do so when somebody else asks the same questions. Google likely blocked the specific sound clip from the advertisement from launching Google Assistant, similar to what it did for its own advertisements for Google Home.

Google was quick to respond to the problem, similar to how it addressed the advertisements for Beauty and the Beast that Google Assistant started mentioning when a user asked what was in store ahead for their day. Google also said that it was not involved in getting the advertisements into Google Home.

Advertisements Coming To Smart Speakers?

Brands may be looking toward taking advantage of the increasing number of Google Home and other smart speakers in households. However, with the overly negative response against Burger King's attempt, hopefully the move will not be further considered by companies, and even Google itself, as another way to inject advertising into the daily lives of users.

Google Home and smart speakers are supposed to make things easier for users and their families, but they will soon become major annoyances if they started spewing advertisements more often than helpful information.

© 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

From Our Sponsor

How To Shop Smart: 5 Characteristics Of A Smart Shopper

You may love shopping, you may be a bargain hunter....but are you a smart shopper?
Real Time Analytics