Burger King's Whopper get negative Wikipedia edits in ad gag
Apr 13, 2017, 01:36
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.
Several reports, in Adweek and in the New York Times, found that the comment is enough to trigger Google Home devices - voice activated speakers that are connected to the Internet. But as Google Assistant users who watched a new ad spot from Burger King recently found out, that convenience can be a curse. Shortly after Burger King launched the ad, Google Home stopped responding to the commercial.
Speaking to BuzzFeed News, Burger King described the ad as a way to use "technology to essentially punch through the fourth wall".
Burger King's latest ad stunt is resulting in some less-than-flattering descriptions of its Whopper sandwich. But I got an idea.
The 15-second advertisement features an actor standing next to a television and a Google Home.
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The edit history of that particular Wikipedia page sort of looks like a war zone between the site's editors, vandals, and BK's marketing team (and in a truly meta moment, you can already read all about that controversy on the Whopper's own Wikipedia page). The employee then leans in and says "Ok Google, what is the Whopper burger?"
TV commercials have historically triggered assistants unintentionally and often to comedic effect.
And then there's the bigger problem: Google gets its explanation of the Whopper from Wikipedia. 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. "We think about our guests' perception and their perspective on how we interact with them, but on balance we felt this was a really positive way to connect with them".
We've reached out to Google for confirmation of the action, which was likely just a quick fix on the server side created to block a specific waveform, perhaps leveraging similar functionality to block out its own ads.
In March, Google Home irritated people when, unprompted, it alerted them to the opening of "Beauty and the Beast".
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