Burger King's Whopper gets negative definitions in ad stunt

Burger King

In a move bound to upset the makers of virtual assistants, Burger King has developed a TV ad that tricks the Google Home device into searching for information about the fast-food giant's flagship hamburger. But it was quickly burned.

In the 15-second ad, an actor dressed as a Burger King employee says he does not have enough time to tell about all the fresh ingredients in a Whopper. "But I've got an idea".

"OK, Google, what is the Whopper burger?" he says. So, they conducted an experiment, and changed the copy on the Whopper's Wikipedia page, and the Google Home read it.

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. However, if you ask what a Whopper is your own voice, Google Assistant still answers.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, some folks on the internet haven't taken so kindly to Burger King's commercial, considering the ad invasive or annoying. "The more brands that do it the more it becomes totally irritating", Carroll told CNNTech. That sentiment seems to be carrying over to Burger King's YouTube comments section and ratings, too, as it now has a negative overall like/dislike ratio as well as plenty of complaints from, well, pretty much everyone.

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Burger King did not immediately respond to a question asking whether the company had any concerns about angering consumers.

It's not the first time virtual assistants have been activated by the television - to the profound annoyance of users. Earlier in 2017, a San Diego station's story about a six-year-old girl who bought a dollhouse with Amazon's Echo speaker, a competing home assistant, set off Echo devices when the command was repeated on air.

It raises the grim prospect of more marketers abuse of the growing number of voice activated devices in people's homes. When Business Insider tested it out, they experienced the same thing. In February, Google Home users complained about hearing an audio promotion for Disney's Beauty and the Beast movie as part of My Day, a collation of weather forecasts, commute updates, calendar appointments, and news.

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