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Google shuts down Burger King's cunning TV ad


The Verge
126 d ago

tech

Just under three hours after Burger King unveiled a to read a long-winded description of its Whopper burger, Google has disabled the functionality. It was fun / horrifying while it lasted!

As of 2:45PM ET, Google Home will no longer respond when prompted by the specific Burger King commercial that asks “What is the Whopper burger?” It does, however, still respond with the top result from Wikipedia when someone else (i.e., a real user) other than the advertisement asks the same question. Google has likely registered the sound clip from the ad to disable unwanted Home triggers, as it does with its own Google Home commercials.

After the ad debuted at 12PM ET today, many users have edited...

View Full Article On The Verge

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The Verge
126 d ago
Burger King’s new ad forces Google Home to advertise the Whopper
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.
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126 d ago
Watch out, Burger King’s using TV spots to trigger your Google Home
Prepare for the King to lead a home invasion.
Burger King’s new “Connected Whopper” campaign has a TV spot that serves as a hack for Google Home, by using the “OK Google” prompt to activate Home to read the Whopper’s Wikipedia page. The dirty trick essentially turns the 15-second spot into a 30-second spot — without the additional ad buy. The campaign was developed by the David Agency in Miami.
The TV spot features a Burger King employee talking about how 15 seconds is not enough time to explain all the fresh ingredients in the Whopper sandwich. He then turns to the camera and says “OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?” This is the smart speaker’s cue to pull up more details about the sandwich. “The Whopper is a burger, consisting of a flame-grilled patty made with 100 percent beef with no preservatives or fillers, topped with sliced tomatoes, onions, lettuce, pickles, ketchup, and mayonnaise, served on a sesame-seed bun.”
Burger King hopes the spot will be more clever than annoying or, heavens, invasive. Both Amazon Echo and Google Home have been accidentally triggered by TV — with one of the most infamous examples being Amazon Echoes in viewers’ homes attempting to order dollhouses when a San Diego TV station ran a story about the device. Whether the effect is “surprise and delight” or “WTF” depends on how people perceive these devices and their role in their homes.
“People have been trained to feel control over their experience, and also want their privacy respected,” said Greg Hedges, director of strategy at voice specialist shop Rain. “But this creates an atmosphere where the user is not in control of their devices, and where brands are trying to inject themselves into their lives. It would be similar to an app showing up on your phone that you didn’t download.”
It remains to be seen what the general public opinion was around the ad, but Google surely didn’t seem happy. Within hours of the ad’s release, publishers including BuzzFeed found that the commercial had stopped activating the device. Burger King did not work with Google on the ad, and said that Google had initiated changes that stopped the commercial from activating the devices by Wednesday afternoon, according to the New York Times. Burger King then proceeded to create and air a revised version of the spot on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which in fact did end up triggering people’s devices.
According to new research from Mintel , a third of Americans own or would like to own a voice-controlled personal assistant, including Amazon’s Alexa, Google’ Home Assistant and Apple’s Siri, for example. But both brands and agencies have readily jumped on the voice technology bandwagon, believing that voice is a far more natural way for people to interact with technology over time. About 24 million Homes and Amazon Echos will be sold this year, according to a research report by VoiceLabs.
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Editor’s note: This story was updated to reflect Google’s response in stopping Google Home devices from getting activated by Burger King’s ad.
The post Watch out, Burger King’s using TV spots to trigger your Google Home appeared first on Digiday .
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Business Insider
126 d ago
Burger King's newest TV ad has a disastrous flaw
YouTube/Burger King
Burger King is launching a TV ad that triggers Google Home devices, and it has a potentially disastrous flaw. 
The 15-second ad triggers Google devices with the command, "Ok Google, what is the Whopper burger?"
The spot will run nationally during primetime starting Wednesday on networks like Adult Swim, History, Spike, Comedy Central, MTV, E!, Bravo and also on Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles.
Business Insider tested out the ad on Tuesday, and it worked. The ad's command got our Google Home speaker — sent to us by Burger King — to recite the definition of a Whopper burger from its Wikipedia page
Here's where we encountered the major flaw with Burger King's ad. Someone had edited the Whopper's Wikipedia page to say that the burger is made of a "medium-sized child," instead of beef patty, and that it contains the toxic chemical Cyanide. 
Burger King later edited the Wikipedia page to a more accurate description of the burger.
It said: "The Whopper is a burger, consisting of a flame-grilled patty made with 100% beef with no preservatives or fillers, topped with sliced tomatoes, onions, lettuce, pickles, ketchup, and mayonnaise, served on a sesame-seed bun."
But people keep changing it.
On Wednesday afternoon, the definition had been changed to: "The Whopper is the worst hamburger product sold by the international fast-food restaurant chain Burger King and its Australian franchise Hungry Jack's."
That's the problem with relying on Wikipedia: anyone can edit entries on the website. 
It's unclear whether Burger King will find a permanent fix for this issue before the ad airs Wednesday, triggering Google devices across the country. 
Here's Burger King's TV ad: 
Youtube Embed:
http://www.youtube.com/embed/U_O54le4__I
Width: 560px
Height: 315px
 
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Be careful about putting your Home device near your TV.
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The ad wasn’t done in partnership with Google. And the question remains whether there’s something Google might do to prevent triggers such as the one in this commercial.
Update: The Verge is reporting that Google has disabled Home from being triggered by the ad. We’ve reached out to Google to ask if that’s the case.
Amazon’s Echo has had similar issues with being triggered by television. Earlier this year, a news anchor accidentally triggered Echo devices belonging to viewers, causing them to order dollhouses.
The feature on Home that Burger King is exploiting is voice search. Google hasn’t announced any plans to make money off voice search, or off ads on other features included on the Home device, but the question has been out there.
The company recently caught flak from Home owners by running what sounded quite a lot like an ad , about Disney’s new live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast.”
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There are, of course, ways Google could fight back.
@Kantrowitz Is Google on-board with this? If not I hope they respond by programming a custom answer with details on calories, sodium, fat, etc
— Marty CBS News (@MartyCBS) April 12, 2017
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SEE ALSO: Google Home is now playing unprompted ads for 'Beauty and the Beast'
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Brace yourselves, everyone. Advertisers figured out how to manipulate your voice-activated assistants. Burger King just showed us in 15 seconds how voice-activated speakers can be used for ill. In a new ad, an actor dressed like a Burger King employee holds up a Whopper and explains that he can’t sum up the sandwich in such a short amount of time. The actor beckons the camera closer and says, “Okay Google, what is the Whopper burger?” If you have a Google Home or Android device anywhere near a TV or computer while that ad is playing aloud, it will start reading the Wikipedia…
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Burger King hijacks the Google Assistant, gets shut down by Google
Enlarge / An actor on a soundstage holding an exaggerated facsimile of a Burger King product.
Burger King made waves today after it released a TV ad that purposely triggered the Google Assistant. The ad ends with a person saying "OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?"—a statement designed to trigger any Google Assistant devices like Android phones and Google Home to read aloud a description of the hamburger's ingredients. Google apparently wasn't happy with a third-party hijacking its voice command system to advertise fast food and has issued a server-side update to specifically disable Burger King's recording.
Before the ad was disabled, the Google Assistant would verbally read a list of ingredients from Wikipedia. Of course the Internet immediately took to Wikipedia to vandalize the burger's entry page, with some edits claiming it contained "toenails" or "cyanide." Getting the Google Assistant to actually read one of these false edits was a tough task, since the Google Assistant gets its data from Google's search index, rather than a live query of Wikipedia. Still, according to The Verge , there was actually a brief period when the Google Assistant would read a false edit.
Google's shutdown of the feature is interesting. The ad will still wake up a Google Home—the "Ok Google" phrase will light up the device, and the little lights on top will spin while it waits for the query to make a round trip to Google's servers. Google Home will no longer dutifully recite the burger's ingredient list, though. Apparently Google has made changes so that Burger King's specific recording of the phrase will no longer trigger a voice response. Instead, the Google Home just quietly goes back to sleep, without any response to the query. Having a live person ask "OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?"' will still trigger a voice response, though.
Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments
Business Insider
126 d ago
Burger King made a TV ad designed to trigger voice-activated Google devices in people's homes
Reuters/Beck Diefenbach
Fast-food chain Burger King said on Wednesday it will start televising a commercial for its signature Whopper sandwich that is designed to activate Google voice-controlled devices, raising questions about whether marketing tactics have become too invasive.
The 15-second ad starts with a Burger King employee holding up the sandwich saying, "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. OK, Google, what is the Whopper burger?"
If a viewer has the Google Home assistant or an Android phone with voice search enabled within listening range of the TV, that last phrase - "Hello Google, what is the Whopper burger?" - is intended to trigger the device to search for Whopper on Google and read out the finding from Wikipedia.
"Burger King saw an opportunity to do something exciting with the emerging technology of intelligent personal assistant devices," said a Burger King representative.
Burger King, owned by Restaurant Brands International Inc. , said the ad is not in collaboration with Google .
Google declined to comment and Wikipedia was not available for comment.
The ad, which became available on YouTube on Wednesday, will run nationally during prime-time on networks such as Spike, Comedy Central, MTV, E! and Bravo, and also on late-night shows starring Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon.
Some media outlets, including CNN Money, reported that Google Home stopped responding to the commercial shortly after the ad became available on YouTube.
Voice-powered digital assistants such as Google Home and Amazon's Echo have been largely a novelty for consumers since Apple's Siri introduced the technology to the masses in 2011. The devices can have a conversation by understanding context and relationships, and many use them for daily activities such as sending text messages and checking appointments.
Many in the industry believe the voice technology will soon become one of the main ways users interact with devices, and Apple, Google and Amazon are racing to present their assistants to as many people as possible. 
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TechRadar
126 d ago
What Google Home can learn from Burger King's intrusive Whopper ad
No one likes ads, but they are a necessary evil in many respects: services we enjoy for free wouldn't be so if it weren't for these paid-for intrusions.
Today, however, fast-food chain Burger King overstepped the line, launching a 15-second ad designed to trigger real-life Google Home smart speakers to describe its famous Whopper burger. 
You can see the spot below, in which the guy holding the Whopper pulls the camera close and specifically asks, "OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?"
The result of this unnatural question is Google Home's Assistant spouting off the first line of the Whopper's Wikipedia page entry, which as The Verge reports appears to have been recently edited to sound a lot more tantalizing than the old one.
While admittedly clever, the vast majority of people see the ad as wildly intrusive. Google wasn't involved in making the ad, and as of the last few hours the search giant seemingly disabled the ability for its smart speaker to respond to the televised prompt, likely to the relief of Home owners everywhere. 
We've asked Google for comment on Burger King's marketing stunt, and will update this story if we hear back.
Home invasion
This isn't the first time Google Home has responded to a prompt on TV; during this year's Super Bowl , smart speakers were inadvertently set off when people in a Google commercial said "OK Google".
And this also isn't the first time the speakers have been used for promotions; recently some Google Homes reminded users the film Beauty and the Beast had opened in theaters, though Google maintained this wasn't an advertisement.
And while Burger King may not have gotten the exact response it wanted with its ad today, the story has generated as much buzz, however negative, as the company could have asked for.
This does, however, set a worrying precedent for other marketers who may try to take advantage of Google Home as well as Amazon Echo's inability to distinguish different users' voices. Amazon Echo had its own mini crisis when a news broadcast that said "Alexa" led some speakers to try to order items off Amazon, The New York Times reports.
It's one thing to expect ads when you're listening to the free version of Spotify or watching YouTube videos, but it's another to suddenly have a device in your home start talking because of something it heard on TV (which is already littered with ads). 
There's a level of intrusion into your personal space, of another entity taking control of a device in your home, to sell something no less, that's deeply troubling. Advertisers taking the liberty to control our personal assistants opens a frightening door, one that could lead to alarmingly personal forms of marketing or, at the extreme, even forcing us to buy their goods from Amazon and Google.
Trust is priceless
Though Google acted swiftly to disable Burger King's prompt, it can take a few lessons from the situation. 
The first is to introduce voice recognition, which would allow Google Home to zero in on specific users, rather than react to prompts uttered by anyone in a room – or on TV. This functionality has been spotted in the code to the Google Home app , so it appears Google already anticipated this need.
The second and more tricky lesson is for Google to tell advertisers not to intentionally set off its smart speaker with their commericals.
This may happen inadvertently from time to time, but Google could lay out some rules – or at least strong suggestions – that dissuade marketers from taking over devices.
Burger King's ad, by the way, is as of this writing in the Trending section of YouTube , the video service Google owns, with over 100,000 views. 
Yes, Google is as reliant on ad dollars as anyone, and though it didn't have anything to do with the Whopper ad, the spot served as much to market its device as a burger. But Google has to weigh what's more important: consumer trust that its products won't turn into marketing shills, or friendly relations with advertisers? 
After this latest Google Home invasion, the search giant may finally smarten up and make the right choice.
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126 d ago
Burger King Ad That Hijacks Google Home Devices Prompts Angry Backlash
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Burger King didn’t hack Google Home, it hacked the media
I think that it’s no accident that we’re talking about Burger King’s TV commercial that was designed to trigger Google Home — and not just because it would have been really annoying if it worked, or because it raised some some fairly troubling privacy issues. We’re talking about it because I would like to suggest that was the entire aim of this commercial. The media, not your Google Home, has been hacked by Burger King.
We have no concrete numbers detailing just how many Google Home devices have been sold to date, but in October 2016, Strategy Analytics estimated that the total number of digital home assistant devices shipped by Google and Amazon would reach around 3 million in 2017.
So let us assume for a moment that Google, entering...
Continue reading…
Entrepreneur
125 d ago
Burger King Ad Hijacks Google Home
It appears Google has stopped the fun (or aggravation) but for awhile, Google Home responded to a Burger King TV ad with Whopper facts.
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125 d ago
Burger King's 15-second Google ad fails to impress
It was a great idea—until it really, really wasn't.
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125 d ago
Burger King is defying Google's attempt to stifle its latest ad in epic corporate feud
YouTube/Burger King
Burger King and Google got into a feud Wednesday over the fast-food chain's latest TV ad, and Burger King came out victorious.
The Burger King ad triggered Google Home devices to recite the definition of a Whopper.
Burger King debuted the ad online on Wednesday, before airing it on TV, and Google swiftly shut it down by disabling the ad's prompt from triggering its devices. 
Google used the ad's audio to disable it.
So Burger King responded by secretly tweaking the ad's audio so it could circumvent Google, and still trigger the home devices. 
The tweak was very slight, but it worked, and the ad — which aired during Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday — successfully prompted Google Home to recite the Whopper definition. 
The Google feud wasn't the only snafu Burger King encountered with its new ad. 
The ad pulls the definition of a Whopper from Wikipedia, and on Wednesday, people were editing the page to say that the burger was made of ingredients like a "medium-sized child," instead of beef patty, and that it contains the toxic chemical Cyanide. 
Wikipedia locked the page from additional edits ahead of the ad's TV launch, however, so the definition written by Burger King was recited as planned. 
On Thursday, the new ad was still successfully triggering Google Home devices, according to a test by Business Insider.
Here's Burger King's original TV ad: 
Youtube Embed:
http://www.youtube.com/embed/U_O54le4__I
Width: 560px
Height: 315px
 Here's the new ad:
Youtube Embed:
http://www.youtube.com/embed/uDf9Zw3Bhn4
Width: 560px
Height: 315px
 
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"OK Google, what is the Whopper Burger?"
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