'Worst Hamburger Product': Burger King's Ad Stunt Backfires

Posted April 13, 2017

The fast-food company's new TV ad features a person looking directly into the camera and saying "OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?", which - if everything goes as planned - will trigger Google devices like the Google Home assistant and Android phones that have enabled voice search. But it was quickly burned. In the 15-second clip, a BK employee says that he doesn't have enough time to name all of the ingredients in a Whopper. "But I've got an idea".

While Google Home is still less popular than Amazon's Echo, the ad "could trigger" other Android devices like smartphones to search for "Whopper", Burger King President José Cil said in an interview with BuzzFeed News. So, they conducted an experiment, and changed the copy on the Whopper's Wikipedia page, and the Google Home read it. As of Wednesday afternoon, Google Home no longer responds to the commercial's voice command.

While Burger King is far from the first to recognize that it's possible to mess with someone else's smart speaker, it's certainly the first to put it into a widely run ad campaign.

But Burger King's hijacking introduces a new concept - an outsider controlling your assistant from the TV. "The more brands that do it the more it becomes totally irritating", Carroll told CNNTech.

Despite the kinks, Burger King's ad is an inventive - if audacious - marketing ploy and one of the first to specifically target the growing segment consumers who use computer-powered assistants at home.

And maybe the funniest of all, when Alexa accidentally ordered a small girl a dollhouse and four pounds of cookies, it made the news, then the news broadcast accidentally triggered reactions from devices in the homes of those watching the broadcast.

It raises the grim prospect of more marketers abuse of the growing number of voice activated devices in people's homes. On Wednesday, pranksters amended the Whopper's list of ingredients to include "100 percent rat", "toenail clippings" and less publishable foodstuff. And, they say, people won't stop editing the page.

"I think it's going to backfire if it keeps happening", he said. If you want to cut to the chase and just see how this ad works, hit the source link below for a video of the ad in action.