Burger King Uses Google Assistant to Advertise Fast Food

A Burger King restaurant in OsloBurger King Uses Google Assistant to Advertise Fast Food

Yesterday, Burger King took everybody by surprise with their new advertising strategy for their food. The company released a TV ad which triggered the Google Assistant on any device to say the new Whooper burger’s ingredients. The TV ad ends with someone asking the assistant what the Whooper burger is. However, it seems like Google was not happy at all with Burger King’s strategy. They actually considered it a third-party hijacking of their virtual assistant. Because of this, the tech giant issued an update which blocks Burger King’s recording.

An advertising strategy

When the person in the ad would ask the Google Assistant about the new Whooper burger, the virtual helper would read a list of ingredients from the burger’s Wikipedia page. Immediately, those who were not fans of the company’s food modified the page and wrote that the burger contained some gross things like toenails or even cyanide. The chances for the assistant to read those false entries were slim. However, according to reports, there were cases in which it said that the burger contained toenails, for example. This all happened before Google blocked the recording through a new update.

It is interesting to note that the update from Google only prevents the Assistant from reading the ingredients out loud. However, the command still wakes up a Google Home device, but it just does not allow it to fulfill it, and it goes back to sleep. According to reports, Google blocked only that specific recording from the ad. So, having another living person saying the exact same thing from the ad will still make the Google Assistant recite the ingredients.

Not all devices can be tricked

However, it is worth noting that not every device can fall victim to such trickeries. For example, Android phones have a feature called “trusted voice”. This recognizes if the command is coming from the its owner. They also do not have the phrase “OK Google” enabled by default. So, the Burger King ad probably did not wake up too many smartphones. Google reportedly wants to introduce a voice-recognition authentication system, which will be able to recognize a familiar voice. This would prevent future hijacks like the Burger King one. It would also spare the tech giant of having to manually block such attempts.

Image source: wikimedia


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