Burger King's New TV Advert: Ingenious or Intrusive?

Posted on Friday 14th April 2017

Just weeks after Pepsi dominated American headlines for having what was said to be the 'most offensive TV advertisement in history', Burger King has now taken to the podium with its latest stunt...

The fast food chain recently unveiled a new, short Advert for their Iconic Whopper Burger. The ad begins with a Burger King employee holding a - you’ll never guess - burger, to which he says ‘You're watching a 15-second Burger King ad, which is unfortunately not enough time to explain all the fresh ingredients in the Whopper sandwich.

"But I've got an idea.

"OK, Google, what is the Whopper burger?"

Prompted by the phrase “OK Google,” and much to some users’ frustration, any Google Home Device or Android Device with voice search enabled and within range of a TV would essentially ‘wake-up’ and read out the ingredients of the Burger, as stated on its Wikipedia page.

WATCH the advert in action below!

“We saw it as a technology to essentially punch through that fourth wall,” Burger King’s president, José Cil, had earlier told BuzzFeed News, adding that it is a “cool way to connect directly with our guests”.

Unfortunately, Google was far from OK, stating that they were not consulted on the Campaign, they declined to comment further. Google Home Devices reportedly stopped responding to the advert shortly after this, leading most to believe that the Tech Giant itself altered the Google Home software to ensure it didn’t respond to Burger King’s ad. 

Not only this but within hours of the ad’s release, humorous edits on the Whopper’s Wikipedia page claimed the burger’s ingredients included “rat meat” and “toenail clippings” among other things. Leaving some, and us, wondering if the fast food giant forgot that the free online encyclopedia platform lets anyone edit its information.

While some users were enjoying making a mockery of the ad, others were concerned it was a breach of their privacy.

Asked whether he was concerned that consumers might find the advertisement invasive, Mr. Cil said, “We think about our guests’ perception and their perspective on how we interact with them, but on balance we felt this was a really positive way to connect with them.”

This is not the first time that television broadcasts have triggered voice devices at home. In 2014, the Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul appeared in an Xbox ad that accidentally switched people’s games consoles on because it featured the wake-up command “Xbox on”.

We think it’s unlikely we will see a flood in these types of campaigns in the future due to the backlash they’ve received, so don’t be worried if you have this type of voice-recognition device at home.