What can marketers and tech firms learn from BK’s co-opting of Google Home?
Burger King and Google are at odds over the fast food chain’s newest commercial, which was designed to activate Google Home digital assistants in households across the country.
The new spot features an actor portraying a Burger King employee holding one of its Whopper sandwiches. While facing the camera, the actor says, “You’re watching a 15-second Burger King ad, which is unfortunately not enough time to explain all the fresh ingredients in the Whopper sandwich, but I’ve got an idea.” (Actor motions camera to come closer.) “Okay Google, what is the Whopper burger?”
The spot dubbed the “Connected Whopper” by Burger King succeeded in activating Google Home devices in households across America when it first began broadcasting this week. While Google didn’t issue a comment on the spot, it became clear when Google Home devices stopped being activated during the commercial that the company wasn’t pleased.
Undeterred, Burger King launched new versions of the commercials with different female and male voices posing the question to Google. This appears to have done the trick as Google Home devices were once again activated.
Once Google Home is activated by the question posed in the Burger King ad, it begins reading the introduction to a page on Wikipedia devoted to the chain’s burger sandwich. Wikipedia, USA Today reports, suspended edits to the page when users began adding comments, for example, that the sandwich includes ingredients such as “rat and toenail clippings.”
Unhappiness with Burger King’s commercial was also expressed on YouTube. The spot, which has nearly 2.5 million views to date, has more thumbs down reviews (23K+) than thumbs up (19K+).
Those who subscribe to the theory that there is no such thing as bad publicity can point to the amount of coverage devoted to this story as a win for Burger King.
New research from Mintel shows that 31 percent of Americans currently own or would like to own a digital assistant such as Google Home or the Amazon Echo.
- Burger King/Connected Whopper – YouTube
- Whopper – Wikipedia
- Burger King just won’t stop trolling Google Home – USA Today
- Burger King didn’t hack Google Home, it hacked the media – The Verge
- Moving From Screen to Voice: One Third of Americans Interested in Digital Assistants – Mintel
- Will Costco, Kohl’s, Target, et al give Google Home an edge over Amazon’s Echo? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What can marketers and tech companies learn from Burger King’s co-opting of Google Home with its new commercial? Will the furor over the spot and Google’s response affect Whopper or Google Home sales?