Burger King of Home Invasion

Kayla Henson | @kayla_hensonn

Google Home had their work cut out for them last Wednesday after Burger King released a commercial that voice activates the device in any home that contains it. In the 15 second ad, a Burger King employee quickly explains that there’s not enough time to explain the ingredients of a Whopper Burger, and instead let’s Google Home take the reins by saying, “OK Google, what is the Whopper Burger?” The devices would light up at the sound of the advertisement, then proceed to read off the ingredients of the burger.

170412161257-burger-king-google-home-780x439 (source: money.cnn.com)

One could argue that this was genius in its unprecedented form of advertising. The idea that television commercials could virtually reach through the screen into homes could be seen as an easier, less time-consuming way to reach consumers and increase engagement.

However, we live in the age of the Internet, and the Internet is not kind to unwarranted invasions of advertising, especially in their own homes.

People began making changes to the ingredients via Wikipedia, adding comical ones such as chocolate candy, toenail clippings, cyanide, rats, and medium-sized child.

Along with Burger King’s first mistake of linking the ad to an editable website, they also didn’t notify Google of their campaign. Google was reasonably upset and put the nonsense to rest within a span of a few hours by no longer allowing any Google Home device to respond to the ad.

Burger King is a prime example of the possible benefits and risks of unprecedented marketing. They took a leap of faith that people would see their risk as ingenuity and that it would get people talking. And in a way, it did just that. However, the problem could have been quickly solved by consulting Google first and foremost. If anyone knows their consumer’s preferences, it’s Google. They more than likely would have suggested to not do an advertising with so little thought to detail.

When it comes to advertising though, it’s best to stick by a rule of thumb that a majority of people do not want to be woken up from their couch nap in the living room by the ingredients of a Whopper Burger.

You’re better off getting into a tweet war with Wendy’s.


Amadeo, R. (2017). Retrieved from https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/04/google-burger-king-feud-over-control-of-the-google-assistant/

Dwyer, C. (2017). Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/04/13/523740193/ok-google-burger-king-hijacked-your-speakers-and-failed-pretty-quickly

Flaherty, K (2016). Retrieved from https://www.buzzfeed.com/keelyflaherty/burger-king-and-wendys-got-into-a-twitter-fight?utm_term=.dj3ZrkK7b#.sadbRDmNg

Larson, S. (2017). Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/12/technology/burger-king-ad-google-home/

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UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism