Google and Vogue Are Bringing Voice-Activated Content From the Magazine to Home Devices

Could open up more deals for marketers

Google Home owners can get extra information about Vogue's interview with Jennifer Lawrence.
Vogue

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Google and Vogue inked a partnership that brings the magazine’s September issue to the voice-activated Home devices by prompting consumers to ask a handful of questions about the issue’s celebrity coverage, hinting that Google Home is starting to open up to marketers and publishers.

Vogue and Google Home have created voice content with the magazine’s writers about the stories they wrote for the issue. For example, saying, “OK Google, ask Vogue to tell me more about Jennifer Lawrence,” prompts Jason Gay, who wrote Vogue’s cover story about Lawrence, to talk about interviewing the actress.

Google Home also rattles through a handful of audio pieces from articles about Oprah Winfrey, Nicole Kidman and Megyn Kelly in the issue. Writer Jonathan Van Meter, for example, explains what it was like to interview Winfrey.

In addition to the digital content, Google Home purchased print ads in Vogue to promote the partnership.

A number of publishers—including Hearst, CNN and Quartz—have tooled with Amazon Echo to build voice-activated “skills” that read bits of news and content out loud if prompted by a consumer. Hearst, for example, has a group called Native and Emerging Technologies that has built out tech products for brands like Good Housekeeping.

Now, it appears Google is formally working with publishers in a similar way. Earlier this year, Google Home users who asked to hear about what was happening that day listened to what seemed like a plug for Disney’s remake of Beauty and the Beast. Google claims Disney’s integration was not a paid ad, although other brands like Burger King have hacked the device as part of their marketing. Burger King’s stunt even nabbed the fast-food brand a Grand Prix at Cannes this year.

According to a Google rep, Vogue’s partnership is “the first of its kind,” so it will be intriguing to see whether other publishers and marketers strike similar deals in the coming months.

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