In this day and age we as consumers are now being exposed to Artificial Intelligence (AI) at an increasing rate. It is becoming the norm to interact with AI on a daily basis in buying products, asking about the weather or telling Alexa to track your last order. However, earlier this week I witnessed the first ever advertisement that triggered consumer interaction with an AI device.
A BOLD and ingenious Burger King, who promoted their advertisement first through YouTube and subsequently on television was only for a short 15 seconds. The fast food giant can be seen showcasing their Whopper burger, but with such a short time slot they are unable to fully describe its deliciousness in full effect… which is where they awaken (within range of course) Google Home devices by saying ”Okay Google, what is the Whopper Burger?”. This prompted Google Home devices across the US to reel a list of Whopper ingredients off the Wikipedia Page, without a doubt informing its customers. I for one, think this was goddamn brilliant! Although others may not agree with me as there was immediate backlash due to complaints of intrusion and and it being manipulative. Which is understandable, especially if I wasn’t a fan of the product being advertised. Consequently, Google disabled the search function for the advertisement, all of which only happened within 3 hours of its first unveiling.
I definitely feel that if Google did not take it down, Burger King would need to limit its televised advertising to one day, as repeat exposure to the Google command would aggravate the public more than them being amused! The first thought that comes to mind is whether this could be the modern age pop up ad? And who will be in control of these AI’s?
If today’s situation is any good indicator, Google and Amazon will be a heavy influencer for the future of digital marketing with their current Google Home and Amazon Echos/Alexa devices. But what if it doesn’t just stop there, what if we start getting personalised advertisements on our smartphone devices based on our internet history and applications? In going a step further, personalised offers based on our usage of products… that actually sounds pretty awesome to be honest! Imagine ordering food from a Mcdonald’s app and a sign popping up saying ‘Hey Brendan! We see that you’ve bought 10 McChicken burgers over the past month, have one today for half the price”. Do you think that is a real possibility? It sounds crazy now, but asking your phone what a whopper burger is would be deemed pretty absurd a decade ago!
In my opinion it won’t be long until other brands follow into Burger King’s footsteps and utilise these smart devices in order to gain consumer engagement and exposure. It will be the first step towards an AI immersed world. The only barrier is whether Google and Amazon will allow advertising on these platforms, and if they do how will they approach in deciding what is acceptable or unacceptable?