Burger King’s Sneaky New TV Ad Tricks Your Google Home Into Talking About the Whopper

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

Headshot of Tim Nudd

People who tune in to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight in New York, Miami and Los Angeles—and who also own a Google Home device—are in for a bit of a surprise, thanks to Burger King.

The fast-food chain will air a 15-second spot on those shows featuring a unique and clever (though some might say intrusive) way of advertising the Whopper. The ad opens with a BK employee saying there’s no way to properly explain all of the Whopper’s quality ingredients in just 15 seconds. “But I’ve got an idea,” he says. Coming closer to the camera, he adds:

“OK, Google, what is the Whopper burger?”

Any Google Home device within earshot of TV sets at home will hear the question and immediately hum to life, and pipe up about the Whopper. Specifically, it will rattle off the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry about the Whopper. (Yes, it works. We tried it.)

See the ad below, along with footage of a Google Home reacting to it.

Google was not involved in the project, which was devised by agency David in Miami. It’s certainly sneaky. Some will complain it’s too intrusive, and there is something to that—coming into one’s home and making a device start talking is about as intrusive as advertising gets. But BK is clearly counting on the novelty factor to disarm Google Home owners into having a chuckle over the stunt.

Obviously it’s not the first time television broadcasts have activated voice devices at home. Jimmy Fallon has played around with an Amazon Echo on the air, which has activated people’s devices. And in fact, all the way back in 2014, we wrote about how an Xbox commercial with Aaron Paul was accidentally turning people’s consoles on at home.

In addition to the local broadcast buy, the spot will run nationally in prime time on cable networks such as Adult Swim, History, Spike, Comedy Central, MTV, E! and Bravo.

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.