What happens when an ad disrupts technology?
Burger King unveiled a genius, infuriating, and hilarious ad that was designed to intentionally set off Google Homes and Android phones.
The 15-second ad featured someone in a Burger King uniform leaning into the camera before saying, “OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?”
This strangely phrased request prompts Google Assistant 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.
Burger King’s creative generated an estimated $135 million in earned media and became the company’s most talked-about TV commercial of all time, as per a case study from David the Agency.
The stunt became a catalyst for controversy, conversations around technology’s vulnerability and ultimately a lot of industry praise.
Google wasn’t involved in the ad’s creation. Google gets its explanation of the Whopper from Wikipedia. Relying on Wikipedia opens up a problem: anyone can edit it.