Jacob Kastrenakes, writing for The Verge, about one of Burger King’s new ads:
Burger King is unveiling a horrible, genius, infuriating, hilarious, and maybe very poorly thought-out ad today that’s designed to intentionally set off Google Homes and Android phones.
The 15-second ad features someone in a Burger King uniform leaning into the camera before saying, “OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?”
For anyone with a Google Home near their TV, that strangely phrased request will prompt the speaker to begin reading the Wikipedia entry for the Whopper. It’s a clever way of getting viewers’ attention, but it’s also a really quick way of getting on viewers’ nerves — just look at the reactions people had when ads accidentally triggered voice assistants in the past.
After much use, my home assistants now feel like an extension of my household. I don’t like companies like Burger King messing with them without permission.
Side note: I’ve noticed that whenever an Amazon Echo ad comes on TV, it typically doesn’t trigger my Echo (or the ad briefly triggers the Echo before it powers down again). Not sure how Amazon is pulling this off — my guess is it involves “teaching” Alexa the audio profile of the ads and telling Alexa to ignore them — but it’s impressive.
UPDATE: Google seems to have disabled the ad’s ability to communicate with your Google Home:
Google disabled the voice command for Burger King’s commercial 😂😂
(it previously worked) pic.twitter.com/xDWF4wDS1Z
— Niv Dror (@Nivo0o0) April 12, 2017