Burger King launches ad which invokes Google Assistant. Obviously backfires.
Burger King launched a new advert online in the last 24 hours ahead of a scheduled roll-out to US TV networks. The 15 second ad, uploaded to YouTube, shows an actor dressed as a Burger King employee holding up a Whopper and talking to the camera. The actor explains that there isn’t enough time to explain all about the burger so he has an idea. He moves closer to the camera and says:
“OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?”
Burger King thought it would be clever to interact with devices running Google’s Assistant, by using the activation phrase “OK Google,” to trigger the assistant to read out a portion of Wikipedia. Sounds clever, right? Wrong. Burger King clearly doesn’t know the internet.
Here’s the ad:
Burger King quickly found out one of the basic rules of internet advertising: if you link to a publicly editable web page, your audience may see different results to what you were expecting.
Here’s what the Wikipedia page showed for Whopper ingredients at one point yesterday:
The Wikipedia edit history for the Whopper entry shows a battle between Burger King’s marketing people and the internet community. What were Burger King thinking?
Other viewers of the ad complained on the YouTube video comments that it was intrusive and could be viewed as hacking their devices. As a result, Google stopped the phrase used in the ad from triggering the Assistant.
Back to drawing board, Burger King.