Google Home Plays Ad for Beauty and the Beast
As someone who has integrated Google Home into my at-home activities, I was unpleasantly surprised one morning when I greeted Google and heard an advertisement.
About two weeks ago, I rolled out of bed and started crawling to the bathroom. At the halfway mark, I usually grumble and prompt Google to give me the low-down on my schedule today (“Ok Google, good morning”). After I heard about my meetings and appointments today, and the weather forecast, my adorable Google Home lost its innocence and started delivering me paid advertising content. In this apparent small-scale test, the topic was the new movie Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson and Kevin Kline. Not very accurate audience targeting if you ask me…
Google Home Conversation Transcript
My conversation with Google Home that morning went a little something like this:
Me: Ok google, good morning. Lay it on me…
Google: Good morning. It is Thursday, the current time is 7:48am. It is 72º and windy, todays high will be 84º.
Your first meeting is at 9:30 with Justin.
Here are the latest news headlines for you…blah blah…
By the way, Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast opens today.
In this version of the story, Belle is the inventor instead of Maurice.
That rings truer if you ask me.
For some more movie fun, ask me something about Belle.”
Me: “WTF? Did you just…?”
I had never asked Google about this movie, let alone any movie. Nor have I searched or watched anything online or related to Beauty and the Beast.
(I haven’t seen the new movie myself, but Rotten Tomato gives it a rating of 86% audience approval)
What Google Home Users Say
I was not the only one with an adverse reaction to Google Home’s latest tactics. Many fellow owners turned to Reddit to voice their dismay.
Some reactions from users across the web:
Well, I understand the frustration, but I love the crap out of my Google Home. It is crazy convenient in the kitchen. It’s a timer, music box, shopping list manager, measurement converter, and more. That said, I’m gonna raise a huge stink if I start gettings ads. -thethotbot
If this was an ad they have to make it clear that it was paid for and they did not in this case. … Audio ads work great in things like podcasts, but the ad to show ratio is so small. If you had to listen to any length ad to use a function on the Google Home, it would be a non-starter. -devsquid
An ad company putting ads on their products? Blasphemy. -tallbeerlover
This won’t be a deal breaker for me. I still am a big advocate of Google Home – although I do believe the full potential of Google Home can only be unlocked if you have a number of smart home products (such as Philips Hue or Nest Thermostat). Otherwise, Google Home is limited to playing music and telling jokes…
According to express.co.uk, the campaign by users to express dismay with Google Home advertisements has been successful in convincing Google to remove the advertisements.