A Creative Solution or Consumer Annoyance?

By the Cowley Team
06/12/2017

Advertisers grab attention in homes by triggering smart speakers

Smart speakers such as Google Home and the Amazon Echo have taken the world by storm. Since their market debut two years ago, they can be found in 1 in 10 households. New technology means new strategies for advertisers to fight for consumer attention, and this is no exception.

A recent 15-second Burger King featured a worker dressed in uniform reciting the line “OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?”, strategically triggering Google Home devices placed near the TV to read aloud its Wikipedia definition. Not only was Google upset with this creative manipulation of their appliance, but smart speaker owners were quickly irritated as well. After a few hours on-air, Google resolved this issue by preventing Google Home from responding to the ad.

This entire situation shed light on the growing issue of smart speakers being triggered by news anchors, commercials, and other programs. It’s highly possible that we will continue to see more advertisers take advantage of this loophole in the future. Some say this will always be a weakness in technology unless Google and Amazon install voice recognition capabilities in their products. Is the possible irritation and home sound-invasion worth the attention? It depends who you ask. Despite the voiced negative reactions, BK also received praise for this taking advantage of the opportunity. Some even described the stunt as genius. What do you think?

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