The television commercial was designed to prompt Google Home and other devices based on Google’s Android operating system to read out loud the Wikipedia page for the Burger King Whopper. In response to customer complaints of privacy invasion, Google fixed the issue, and your device will no longer respond to the on-screen prompt.
Here’s how the very clever marketing ploy worked. At the end of the 15-second spot, the actor in the commercial says, “Ok Google, what is the Whopper burger?” In response, your Google Home or Android device would “wake up” and respond to the command by reading the Wikipedia page aloud. Savvy (and snarky) users who got wind of this edited the page to include descriptions like “cancer-causing” and ingredients like “toenail clippings.”
It may sound like a small inconvenience, but what if a different ad took more concrete advantage of smart devices? (“Ok Google, remind me to order Pizza Hut tomorrow.”) Customers are rightfully concerned that smart devices have the ability to be more invasive than we want.