Thursday, April 13, 2017
Burger King got inspired by those cases of accidental voice assistant activations, and went all in in its latest TV ad, hoping to trigger Google Home and other devices using the Ok Google hotword.
Ever since digital assistants got voice activation features that we saw this coming. It was simply a matter of time till someone, somewhere, would think it would be a great idea to include these hotwords in a radio or TV spot, and that's precisely what Burger King just did. In its latest TV ad, it included someone saying "OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?" hoping to trigger any Google Home and smartphones within listening range.
Of course, things don't always work as intended, and it didn't take long for the internet to show just how much they disapproved of this tactic. That query made Google Assistant enumerate the ingredients from the Wikipedia page for the Whooper, and people started editing that article so it included not-so-delicious things as toenails and cyanide.
Also, as Google took notice, it disabled that particular voice query so it would no longer trigger a response (though it would still work if you ask for it personally - though probably not for the actor that recorded that phrase for the TV spot). As they say, every publicity is good publicity (even when it's bad) - and I suspect this won't be the last of its kind.