Burger King Ad Hijacks Google Home
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
UPDATE: Well, that was fun (annoying?) while it lasted. As The Verge notes, Google has stopped Google Home from responding to the Burger King ad. In a separate post, the blog also says that it appears Burger King edited the Wikipedia article for the Whopper prior to the ad's release, given the marketing speak found on the page and the fact that the page's last editor has a user name very similar to the burger chain's marketing chief.
Original story follows.
Burger King has a new ad that will either amuse or enrage those with Google Home devices or Android phones.
During the brief spot, an actor holding a Whopper says 15 seconds just isn't enough time to extoll the virtues of the iconic hamburger. Instead, he summons the camera closer and says "OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?" If you don't own a Google device running Assistant, that's where the experience ends.
But, if you happen to have a Google Assistant-equipped device nearby, the Burger King pitchman's question will trigger the gadget to start reading from Wikipedia about the Whopper. Clever, but definitely annoying.
Burger King isn't the first brand to hijack a virtual assistant, though this may be the first intentional effort. Back in 2014, a commercial for the Xbox One featuring Breaking Bad alum Aaron Paul accidentally activated people's consoles. In the spot, Paul gave the "Xbox on" command to turn on his Xbox One. The only problem: that command turned on the consoles of everyone watching the commercial at home.
Meanwhile, Google Home just learned a new trick you might like a little better than Burger King's hamburger hijack. The device can now track flights for specific routes, so you can nab the cheapest fare.
Just say "OK Google, how much are flights to New York City in three weeks," for instance. The device will read off current fares and offer to start tracking the flight, so you'll get notifications via email any time the price drops. For more on the feature, check out Google's help article.