Fri, Apr 14, 2017 - Page 7 News List

No OK for Burger King’s ‘OK, Google’ commercial

NY Times News Service

Google on Wednesday appeared to stymie a marketing stunt by Burger King, which had introduced a television ad intended to prompt voice-activated Google devices to describe its burgers.

A video from a Burger King marketing agency showed the plan in action: “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,” the actor in the commercial said. “But I got an idea. OK, Google, what is the Whopper burger?”

Prompted by the phrase “OK, Google,” the Google Home device beside the TV in the video lit up, searched the phrase on Wikipedia and stated the ingredients.

However, within hours of the ad’s release — and humorous edits to the Whopper Wikipedia page by mischievous users — tests from The Verge and BuzzFeed showed that the commercial had stopped activating the device.

Burger King said Google appeared to make changes by Wednesday afternoon that stopped the commercial from waking the devices.

Google, which previously said it had not been consulted on the campaign, did not respond to requests for comment.

It was unclear whether Burger King could alter some of the ads, which were to air on Wednesday during “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and other shows, to work around any changes.

“With the onset of consumers buying intelligent system devices and using them at home, we thought this was a good way to make a connection and go directly to guests and tell a story about our product,” Burger King president Jose Cil said in an interview on Wednesday morning.

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