Sneaky Burger King Commercial Takes Google Home Hostage To Promote Whopper Sandwich

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We’ve heard plenty of stories about Google Home and Amazon Echo being unintentionally set off by TV commercials that trigger their “wake words”. Most recently, Google Home devices were awakened by a 60-second Google Super Bowl commercial that featured the AI assistant. Given that “OK Google” was said 16 times throughout the commercial, it should come as no shock to you that Google Home devices started going into meltdown mode across the country.

While those gaffes were unintended, but annoying, what happens when a company deliberately tries to take advantage of your AI assistant for advertising purposes? That’s exactly what Burger King is doing with a new TV ad. The commercial is just 15 seconds long, and starts off with a young Burger King employee holding a juicy burger.

“You’re watching a 15-second Burger King ad, which is unfortunately not enough time to explain all the fresh ingredients in the Whopper sandwich. But I’ve got an idea.” He then leans into the camera and says the proper phrase: “OK Google, what is the Whopper burger”?

If you have a Google Home… at home, it will then proceed to read the first paragraph from the Wikipedia entry for Burger King’s Whopper. In a way, it’s the work of an evil advertising genius. Not only does Burger King get away with paying for just a 15-second ad, but it then relies on the potential “customer” to finish its marketing work via a Google Home.

Google Home

However, this also bring up the question of privacy. It’s one thing for your Google Home or Amazon Echo to be activated by accident, but to have a company exploit the voice recognition of your device to basically sell you something seems like it crosses an ethical line for many people.

For its part, Google is claiming that it had no involvement in this latest Burger King ad, and likely for good reason. The company is probably a bit gun shy after it got burned for forcing Beauty and the Beast advertisements on Google Home users last month.