[UPDATED]New Burger King ad wants an assist from Google Home

Business / Google / Tech

Burger King isn’t trying to do anything horrible here, they just want to grab a little bit more of your attention than a 15 second ad can realistically get.

As more and more people add always-listening digital assistants into their lives, the possibilities for trickery, or even just subtle misuse by a third party will obviously increase. Not all of these attempts will be nefarious, some are just plain accidents while others are meant to add some whimsy to your day. A new Burger King ad is too short to really sell you anything on its own, so it’s hoping for an assist from your Google Home device.

Update: 4/12/2017 4:50 CST

According to TechCrunch, Google has implemented a server-side fix to prevent the commercial from activating your Google Home, or Google Assistant-enabled devices:

Interestingly, it’s not the specific function, just the voice from the ad. Asking Home what a “Whopper sandwich” is in your own voice (like a Big Mac, but smaller) will bring up the Wikipedia entry as initially intended. For Google, the fix is likely akin to patching a security flaw (though here it’s more about annoyance than any real security threat).

Original article continues below:

If you’ve got a Google Home device nearby, you may want to watch this video elsewhere:

Burger King isn’t trying to do anything horrible here, they just want to grab a little bit more of your attention than a 15 second ad can realistically get. By casually tossing out the wake words for Google Home, they’ll probably catch at least a few people completely off guard who just want to watch TV without any interruption. People without Google Home may become curious enough to find out more information about the device, which would be a boon for Google.

For their part, Google has confirmed that they had nothing to do with this commercial, and declined any further comment to the New York Times. Google has, however, had some complaints about their Home device after their own Super Bowl commercial activated nearby Google Home units. They also caught a bit of slack last month when it seemed that Google Home was playing advertising for Beauty and the Beast out of nowhere.

Amazon’s Alexa hasn’t been without its own issues though. Amazon even has advertising where the “Alexa” wake word is used. They have, however, apparently taken steps in their own advertising to prevent user’s devices from waking up from their commercials.

If you’d like to get your Google Home in on the advertising fun, you can either watch the ad above, or catch the ad playing starting tonight on MTV, Bravo, and late shows from Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon. If you want to cut to the chase and just see how this ad works, hit the source link below for a video of the ad in action.

What do you think about this type of advertising? Should companies try to break through your TV to continue their advertising via your connect devices? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: The New York Times
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