“Ok Google, what is the Whopper burger?”

It has recently come to my attention that Burger King had an extremely clever ad that went mostly unnoticed in Australia. How do you advertise a Whopper in a fresh way, after having advertised it for the past 60 years? You capitalise on a growing technology.

Check the original ad here:

Clever right? The best part of this ad is that not only does it work on the Google Home device, but also on many android devices that capitalise on this technology.

This has caused a bit of outrage as people are screaming that it’s an invasion of privacy, that it’s annoying etc. etc. You know, the usual qualms with growing technology.

I think from a marketing perspective, it’s genius. What a great way to extend on that very limited television ad that most people tune out and ignore anyway. Cleverly, Burger King had set this up beautifully by editing the Wikipedia page to describe the Whopper burger exactly as they wanted Ok Google to read it back to the potential consumer.

Unfortunately, it is presumed that Google had to be the bearer of bad news and disabled the ability of the ad to activate Ok Google. Another flaw in Burger King’s genius plan, was that people caught on quickly and edited their Wikipedia page to include such ingredients in the Whopper as cyanide and a medium sized child. Not particularly mouth watering.

This has potentially opened the flood gates for marketers and creators alike. Highlighting the use of this feature could see food companies, to car brands and everything in between giving us a further insight into their products and services. How far is too far? Seemingly Google is all over this concept now, and may very well limit this ability for future ventures.

What are your opinions on this “hijacking” of Ok Google? Fair play by Burger King or an intrusion on privacy? Do you think other companies will try this method?

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6 comments

  1. I guess it is pretty similar to the whole U2 album thing on iphones. I think it is fair play but it does also makeme wonder what this sort idea could cause if it was put into the hands of evil

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  2. I appreciate how clever that this technique is and would be ok with it if it happened to me, but not sure if every user would feel the same way. I feel though that if an organisation has found a way to use this as a strategy they should be able to exploit it as long as they can before the technology blocks it. Great example and i will be keeping an eye out if anything similar happens to me!

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    • I understand where people have concerns about their invasions of privacy, but at the same time surely everyone is aware that all our data through social media, Google maps etc. is being collected and used. Honestly, I kind of see this as one of the less personally intrusive methods out. It will be interesting to see if anyone else can capitalise on similar technologies.

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  3. Building your entire marketing plan around a 3rd party service has both pros and cons, the most obvious is having other people hijack the end result by using Wikipedia, but the major one is if the company that you’re relying on (Google in this case) modifies its terms of service or the way it can be used then it will render the entire campaign worthless.

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    • That’s very true, but at the same time look at the talk it’s creating. I can’t imagine this campaign would have cost them a whole lot, due to it’s simplicity (no more than a regular television commercial). Perhaps a sneaky way to try and capitalise more?

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