Burger King just couldn’t let Pepsi and United steal all the attention this week, could it?
The fast food chain published an advertisement this week, touting the “fresh ingredients” included in its Whopper burger.
No ad to show here.
Sounds fair right? Sure. But as the employee notes in the ad itself, 15 seconds is hardly enough time to sell a product.
Burger King solved this by using seven sneaky but utterly brilliant words: “Okay Google, what is the Whopper burger?”
This short line activated any Google Home devices within earshot of the ad, and read aloud the Wikipedia page for the burger.
Some people labeled the ad intrusive while others thought it was pretty damn clever. What Burger King inadvertently demonstrated though is the blessing and curse of the internet of things.
Google Home is meant to be operated exclusively by voice, but the notion that a television advertisement can activate the device — a device that also allows you to purchase things online — shouldn’t be taken lightly.
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General public sentiment was mixed too.
While the actual YouTube ad has been viewed over 790 000 times, supporting claims of its undoubted popularity, but it also boasts a third more dislikes than it does likes.
Burger King intelligently used Google Home’s search features to its advantage
Comments below the ad on YouTube were also mixed.
“We United Airlines may have beaten up dragged out a customer, but even we think this ad is awful,” a spoof United Airlines account jabbed.
“Why are people trying to defend and attack an unfunny commercial that isn’t even worthy of being on the Trending page?,” another queried.
But some didn’t understand why users were hating, embracing the novelty of the campaign.
“Somehow people are going to find a way to get offended by this lmao welcome to 2017,” one retorted.
“Wait, why are people mad at this? I’m confused,” another questioned.
Google — the other character in this narrative — also joined the commentary, issuing a patch on Thursday that disabled the ad’s ability to activate its Home devices. The company has yet to issue an official comment.
While Google is the latest company to be left red-faced by its own product’s abilities, it’s by no means the first.
Back in 2014, this Microsoft ad starring Aaron Paul infamously switched on Xbox One consoles across the world by including the line “Xbox on” in its message.
While South Africa hasn’t largely been affected by the advertisement — after all, not many Google Home hubs are inhabiting homes this side of the Atlantic — it does hint at the future of guerilla advertising as internet of things devices become more widely available.