Burger King debuts Whopper ad that triggers Google Home devices

Burger King debuts Whopper ad that triggers Google Home devices

If a viewer has the Google Home assistant or an Android phone with voice search enabled within listening range of the TV, that last phrase - "Hello Google, what is the Whopper burger?" - is meant to trigger the device to search for Whopper on Google and read out the finding from Wikipedia. But I got an idea.

This wakes up devices in the room that are configured to respond to the "OK Google" hotword.

Using one device, a television, to trigger another device, a voice-activated speaker, could be viewed as too invasive - especially among people watching the program who are not Burger King customers.

Wikipedia, meanwhile, has yet to put the Whopper page accessed therein under lockdown, but its edit page shows a war of updates, libelously accusing the burger of containing everything from rats and toenail clippings to people.

Burger King is an especially aggressive company when it comes to marketing - once pricing its 10-piece chicken nuggets at $1.49, or combining Cheetos and macaroni and cheese in stick form. Burger King surely knew what it was getting itself in for here, as the company allegedly edited the Wikipedia entry prior to the ad's less than stellar debut earlier today.

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Still, according to Bloomberg, Burger King President Jose Cil called it "a cool way, and a bold way, to surprise our guests".

TV commercials have historically triggered assistants unintentionally and often to comedic effect.

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. Earlier in 2017, a San Diego station's story about a six-year-old girl who bought a dollhouse with Amazon's Echo speaker, a competing home assistant, set off Echo devices when the command was repeated on air.

"Burger King saw an opportunity to do something exciting with the emerging technology of intelligent personal assistant devices", said a Burger King representative.

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.

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