Shrewd Burger King ad tries to hijack Google Home, delivers earned media home run

At a day when risky ads can cause a backlash( e.g. Pepsi ), Burger King merely did something ingeniously( or annoyingly) calculated to create buzz. And it worked.

The company made a TV spot( below) that tries to invoked Google Home — for those that have them. Near the end of the commercial the camera zooms in close and the actor playing a BK employee tells,” OK Google, what is the Whopper burger ?”

If there’s a Google Home nearby, it illuminates up. But it doesn’t answer because Google apparently get breeze of the ad and shut down the response, which was supposed to be a description of the ingredients as listed in the Wikipedia page about Whoppers.( There’s some evidence that BK’s agency or employees edited Wikipedia before the commercial started operating to game the answer .)

The real objective here was not to light up a bunch of Google Home devices but to get a bunch of earned media coverage from the stunt. If the real target of the campaign were the at-home audience, why wouldn’t it going to go after Alexa?

Echo/ Alexa is approaching or has surpassed 10 million in device sales, while the data indicate Google has sold fewer than 1 million Home devices. Of course, Google Home often reacts more effectively to general knowledge questions.( Google was reportedly not involved in the creation of the ad .)

There’s considerable supposition about how Google might translate its ad model into the screen-free, virtual assistant realm. A exam promotion( not a paid ad) for Beauty and the Beast a couple of weeks ago find a significant reaction and discussion online.

It was therefore shrewd of Burger King or its bureau to piggy back on that episode to generate buzz for Burger King. As of this writing, the commercial has already been watched about 75,000 times on YouTube in merely a matter of hours and is No. 3 on YouTube’s list of trending videos. By being essentially “first” to formally do something like this, the company grabbed lots of headlines and coverage. But nobody can follow with a similar promotion without being criticized as a creative copycat.

While the “involuntary” dimension of the ad is potentially invasive or riling, it points to some interesting second device use cases involving virtual deputies. For example, conscious of the presence of these devices in the kitchen, living or family room, a future TV spot might suggest that users “search” for X on Google Home or tap into Y ability on Alexa.

Given that the ad will play on national TV this evening it might also assistance make some additional sales for Home. Indeed, Google may want to reconsider its posture and work with brands to figure out clever and useful ways to integrate Home into other types of advertising — as an extension or attribution tactic.

Read more: marketingland.com

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