clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Burger King’s new ad deliberately gets your Google Home to talk about burgers

Be careful about putting your Home device near your TV.

Screen shot from Burger King’s ad

When Google ran a Super Bowl ad for its Google Home device, it woke actual devices belonging to users watching the ad. Now get ready for the intuitive, and annoying, extension of that: Advertisements that do this on purpose.

Burger King is releasing a TV ad intended to deliberately trigger Google Home devices to start talking about Whopper burgers, according to BuzzFeed. An actor in the ad says directly to the camera, “Okay Google, what is the Whopper burger?”

The ad wasn’t done in partnership with Google. And the question remains whether there’s something Google might do to prevent triggers such as the one in this commercial.

Update: The Verge is reporting that Google has disabled Home from being triggered by the ad. We’ve reached out to Google to ask if that’s the case.

Amazon’s Echo has had similar issues with being triggered by television. Earlier this year, a news anchor accidentally triggered Echo devices belonging to viewers, causing them to order dollhouses.

The feature on Home that Burger King is exploiting is voice search. Google hasn’t announced any plans to make money off voice search, or off ads on other features included on the Home device, but the question has been out there.

The company recently caught flak from Home owners by running what sounded quite a lot like an ad, about Disney’s new live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast.”

Google declined to comment for this post. Burger King said in a statement to Recode that the ad is “essentially breaking the fourth wall” of advertising. Update: The fast-food company said it didn’t reach out to Google about the ad.

There are, of course, ways Google could fight back.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.