Update: Google has apparently disabled the Burger King advertisement. Now when you ask it about the Whopper, it merely cites Wikipedia.
We were positively ecstatic when Google initially announced the voice-activated, Assistant-enabled Google Home. Finally, a little gadget for our homes that harnesses the power of Google's search engine and it's external capabilities, the same way that the Echo became an extension of Amazon's shopping and media experience. But that dream is slowly dissipating as we realize these little gadgets aren't always used for altruistic purposes. Now that brands have caught on, they're becoming another way to deliver advertisements.
Burger King: "It's a cool way to connect directly with our guests."
Burger King is the next major company to showcase Google Assistant's ad-delivering capabilities, though it's important to note that the company did not launch this ad in tandem with Google. In a statement to Buzzfeed, Burger King President, José Cil, said the company saw Google Home "as a technology to essentially punch through that fourth wall." He added that it's "a cool way to connect directly with our guests."
Is it a cool way to connect? You be the judge. Here's the ad, and if you want to experience it fully, we suggest you turn your volume up so that Google Home — or your Pixel, for that matter — is triggered.
This isn't the first advertisement of sorts to appear on Google Home, though the Beauty and the Beast audio spot that debuted a few weeks ago wasn't nearly as abrasive. If you asked the Home about your day, the device offered a mention to remind you that the live action remake of the fabled Disney film was playing in theaters. And anyway, Google didn't consider this an ad. In a statement to The Verge, the company had said that "the beauty in the Assistant is that it invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales." In this case, it was Burger King's chance to tell the tale of its flame-broiled Whopper.
It really hasn't been a good week for brands, and though Burger King hasn't physically assaulted anyone here, it's natural to feel personally assaulted by advertisements in the home on a device you had originally thought was for personal use.
At this stage in the game, however, it's a wonder if we should really be surprised. Google is a search and advertisement company first and foremost, and as long as brands are around, they'll leverage whatever they can to tell us to buy their products.
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