back to article Burger King's 'OK Google' sad ad saga somehow gets worse

Fast food chain Burger King is doubling down on an ad campaign designed to activate the Google Home appliance, even as Google and the public at large object. The 15‑second ad features an actor who says, "OK Google, what is the Whopper burger?" in an attempt to force the Google Home devices of viewers to navigate to the …

  1. Number6

    There's only one thing worse than people talking about you...

    (Although United Airlines might disagree at the moment.)

  2. Richard 12 Silver badge

    Still haven't got my rat burger :(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't be so sure!

    2. BillG Silver badge
      Happy

      Best Commercial

      Best Burger King commercial ever - I give you - Manthem!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9e4QD1zm0Q

      Of course it was banned.

    3. Wokstation

      Rat Burger

      Millennium hand and shrimp!

      1. Mark York 3 Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Rat Burger

        Heat N Serve!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UUalL4Swz4

        PH because she will put pretty much anything into her mouth.

      2. Sam Therapy

        Re: Rat Burger

        Buggrit!

    4. kain preacher Silver badge

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeyC52zeSGA

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Correction!

    "medium-sized child"

    Don't you mean "flame broiled, medium-sized child?" Sheesh!

    These ads are making great sport of the Google device, and are much less annoying than the adverts that Carl's Jr. used to show with outrageously hot, skinny, chicks eating gigantic, grease dripping, super burgers. It just put me off their crap for good. At least a Whopper is a decent burger, the double too. And until they start having people rubbing their genitals against the burger, I might have one once in a while. Not more than once a week though. That's a lot of fat all at once. Tasty, but deadly in large doses. Like live bees.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Correction!

      "At least a Whopper is a decent burger"

      BWAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHHAA!

      ::whew:: I'm done, but thanks for asking.

      That was almost as dangerous as The Goodies "Kung Fu Kapers" ...

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Correction!

      "Tasty, but deadly in large doses. Like live bees."

      So, what exactly do live bees taste like?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Correction!

        crunchy

      2. TheRealRoland
        Coat

        Re: Correction!

        Crunchy, with a slightly 'stingy' aftertaste left on the palate.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Correction!

          Actually, they are sweet & sour with a hint of bitterness.

    3. Dagg
      FAIL

      Re: Correction!

      At least a Whopper is a decent burger

      You what! That burger in the picture looks like no whopper that I've ever been served, it isn't sagging or leaking liquid and you can actually see some green stuff in it (I assume that it is lettuce..).

      Looking at that photo gave me a real "Falling down" moment!

    4. Pedigree-Pete
      Pint

      Re: Correction!

      Totally agree AC. Once in a while is fine. I reserved my Double Whopper for the 4 times a year, drop/collect from Uni trips. I doubt that'll kill me. :) PP

      Icon> Later washed down with...

  4. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Please Sir?

    What does "doubling down" mean?

    1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: Please Sir?

      I think "doubling down" is what happens after you eat a Whopper burger.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Please Sir?

      Doubling down :- When you lose a bet, you place another bet for double the amount you lost in the hope of winning it back.

    3. VanguardG

      Re: Please Sir?

      You make one bad decision, so you make a second one that's also bad, hoping they'll either cancel each other out or that two wrongs will make a right.

      As someone else said, it originates from gambling. You lose $1 on a bet, you make a $2 bet next time on the theory that when you win, you get your original loss back. Its a nice theory, but rarely works.

      However, the game of Blackjack (AKA 21) has a gameplay option actually called "double down" (often just "double") that's quite different, as you're doubling your wager within a single round of game play, instead of on successive rounds of play.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Please Sir?

        It's called "doubling DOWN" because you're gambling double on a card you can't even see (it's dealt face-down and not revealed until after the dealer's hand is resolved). List most things blackjack, there's a time and place for it. Doubling down on a ten or eleven (especially if the dealer's up card is in the middle) is generally a good idea: odds are the dealer will either bust or have a weak stand. If the dealer's up card is a five or six (the most likely to result in a bust), doubling down when you know your next card can't bust you (you're no higher than 11 or soft) can be worth a chance.

        The $1/$2/$4 pattern is known as the "double or nothing" pattern. All you need to get back to zero is ONE win, and depending on how the table plays, it may not take that many hands to do it, making it worthwhile especially on a game like Blackjack where a player with reasonable knowledge of the game has a fighting chance on any given hand.

        1. VanguardG

          Re: Please Sir?

          I suspect the fighting chance you refer is why blackjack tables (like poker) is heavily patrolled by waitresses with alcoholic beverages, to dull the players' faculties as quickly as possible. Note the relative scarcity of such services in the roulette and dice game areas, and near absence around the slot machines - where there's little to no action the player can take to improve his or her chances of a win, therefore there's less benefit to getting them buzzed.

  5. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    Burger King got what it was after, as "social conversation" on the company was up 300 per cent.

    Of course, all of those Burger King mentions were preceded by expletives. But hey, as long as people are talking about the brand, right?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      But hey, as long as people are talking about the brand, right?

      Exactly...no such thing in marketing minds. It's all good publicity. A quick Google points this out: bad+publicity+is+good+publicity+quote

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        I thought the quote was, "There's no such thing as bad publicity."?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "There's no such thing as bad publicity."

          The smartphone has made that obsolete. Just ask United Airlines.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            The smartphone among other things. Social media like Twitter combined with the Internet and ubiquitous cameras held by lots of people is creating a perfect storm for instant rumor mills. What would normally take time as rumors bounce from person to person now can spread at the speed of electricity (not quite the speed of light, but close). This combined with echo chamber mentality creates the electronic equivalent of flash mobs.

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            "The smartphone has made that obsolete. Just ask United Airlines."

            Or, pre-smartphone, ask Gerald Ratner.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        But hey, as long as people are talking about the brand, right?

        Given the general ethos, it does seem that if you are a 'brave' now might be the time to out some of those ad idea's that copywriters tend to keep in their private folder to demonstrate to prospective clients/employers just how zany/original they can be...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    American phrase book

    "Super size me"

    "OK! Have a nice day"

    "Oh lordy I'm having a heart attack!"

    "Would you like fries with that?"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      Re: American phrase book

      Hey, no one is forcing that "food" down their throats. Besides, it reduces end-of-life costs to society.

      1. Smooth Newt
        Meh

        Re: American phrase book

        Hey, no one is forcing that "food" down their throats. Besides, it reduces end-of-life costs to society.

        Twenty years of diabetes, with all the treatment and disability that entails, doesn't save anything.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: American phrase book

          A spate of heart attacks and strokes would, though.

    2. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: American phrase book

      Wrong fast food chain. Do keep up old boy.

  7. Florida1920 Silver badge

    Desperation

    Fast food sales have been declining for a few years, so no surprise BK is trying to harness Wikipedia to sell their flame-broiled fat. They might try selling healthier food, but instead they've introduced hot dogs and some weird variation on fries, made with chicken, I think.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Desperation

      "some weird variation on fries, made with chicken, I think."

      That's just their normal fries, except you've reached that certain age now.

    2. Sam Therapy

      Re: Desperation

      Seems like Spongebob was predictive after all.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    medium-sized child

    that's what goes into bratwurst not hamburger

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: medium-sized child

      The two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive ...

  9. tfewster Silver badge
    Facepalm

    A harmless prank

    Like setting off an storm alarm or TP'ing someones house?

    This being the US of A, I expect to see a slew of lawsuits against these evul haxxors

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: A harmless prank

      TP'ing someones house????????? eh what?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Talking about fast food

    Saw one of those franchises a few weeks ago in Wien Hauptbahnhof. I remember it because right opposite it there is a local joint where you can get hands down the best Schnitzel in Vienna.

    Why get crap fast food when you can get proper fast food?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Talking about fast food

      Because glucose-fructose syrup. It has the ability to make shit taste nice and make you hungry as well. You could as well ask - why milk chocolate when dark chocolate, Even my youngest daughter is stopped in her tracks by two or three squares of dark chocolate but will eat a whole lorry load of milk chocolate if we dont stop her. Fortunately our nearest BK or MD is 20 miles away and she cant be arsed to cycle,

  11. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    If it's anything like our area...

    The major fast food chains are starting to go out of style, and the independent locally-owned food joints are on the up. The trend is just starting, but it seems to be the future.

    Perhaps it's related to the aging demographic trends.

    1. SundogUK

      Re: If it's anything like our area...

      "...but it seems to be the future."

      What, all of it?

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: If it's anything like our area...

      "Perhaps it's related to the aging demographic trends."

      You mean the survivors are growing up?

    3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: If it's anything like our area...

      The future isn't what it used to be.

  12. Ian Emery Silver badge

    As much as I used to enjoy a Whopper over a Big Mac, the company (in the UK at least), didnt have much of a social or moral compass).

    I used to work at an incinerator, we had a 44 tonne load of BK promotional clothing sent in to be burned; brand new "T" shirts and caps that could have been donated to any of the various charities sending clothing to victims of natural or man made disasters; but no, they decided to have them all burnt.

    These weren't defective, with incorrect spelling, or Police seized fakes, these were brand new, sealed in the packet "leftovers" from a national promotion.

    1. SundogUK

      It's their property, they can do what they want with it.

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        It's their property, they can do what they want with it.

        I don't think anyone disputes their legal right to do it, but morally it stinks! It's also stupid - just think of the free (good) publicity they get for shipping several thousand T-shirts and caps to a Sudanese refugee camp.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Unless continuing to distribute the materials could put them in legal trouble due to the potential for false advertising charges or the like. Sending off-season T-shirts to foreign parts could result in culture-clash misunderstandings and so on.

          As the saying goes, "It's complicated."

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Come on it's not like say the Gruniad, could make anything of the images of starving African kids being given t-shirts for an American fast food chain.

            Who could possibly misconstrue that as anything but an act of charity ?

          2. Havin_it

            Good point. There's a large (and disaster-prone) chunk of the planet that wouldn't be too happy wearing a picture of a cowburger on their chest, and another that'd be equally unwelcoming of anything featuring bacon.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              There's a disaster prone chunk of the planet that would be perfectly happy wearing anything clean and warm.

              But there is a smaller but more powerful chunk of the planet that can find offence in anything that you do - and they have a lot more media access

        2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Do you want an AK with that?

  13. Bob Hoskins
    Stop

    How much brand awareness does the Whopper need?

    Unless you've been living in a cave all your life.

  14. boardslider

    Computer mis-use act anyone.

    Surely remotely accessing someone's home systems without consent falls foul of this?

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: How much brand awareness does the Whopper need?

      I tried it once. Didn't like.

      Why add sugar? Adding sweeteners (of any kind) to non-dessert, savouries or burgers is nasty.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How much brand awareness does the Whopper need?

        > Why add sugar?

        Quite a few savoury things have sugar added: fried onions (for when you don't have half an hour or more to caramelise them), ketchup, even coleslaw. It's all about the flavour profile: a touch of sweetness just complements too many things.

        I do agree that there's too much refined sugar in stuff, especially stuff like salad dressings. When cooking (and when I can get it), I tend to use mirin instead of sugar.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How much brand awareness does the Whopper need?

        > Adding sweeteners (of any kind) to non-dessert, savouries or burgers is nasty.

        Sugar is not just used as a sweetener. It has many other purposes in the kitchen, notably as a fermentation aid (yeast loves it), as a conservative, or as a stabiliser (when egg is involved, e.g., foams or custards).

        To give just two or three common examples of sugar use in non-desserts: brown barbecue sauces (and BBQ rubs or marinades), pickles, or leavened breads.

        (There are 10 kinds of developers, those who know how to cook and those who don't. har har :-/ )

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: How much brand awareness does the Whopper need?

          "To give just two or three common examples of sugar use in non-desserts: brown barbecue sauces (and BBQ rubs or marinades), pickles, or leavened breads."

          Adding a touch of sweet to something spicy tends to produce nice complementary effects. That's why you have such things as honey mustard sauce (sweet honey complements the spicy mustard), and as mentioned, a bit of sugar can actually be a good addition to a spicy meat rub. Have you heard of Bread & Butter pickle brine. That's a sweet brine. And sugar is absolutely essential if you intend to have a risen (leavened) bread, as the yeast needs the sugar to feed. In fact, yeast needs sugar to ferment into alcohol to produce your favorite drinks (where the sugar comes from depends, but for example rum comes from molasses).

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: How much brand awareness does the Whopper need?

            You do NOT need to add sugar to ferment a loaf of bread. Flour, water, yeast (or starter culture) and salt are all that is needed. You can do without salt if you like flat tasting bread ... but you'll have to watch it so it doesn't over-proof. Salt helps slow down the yeast.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: How much brand awareness does the Whopper need?

              > You do NOT need to add sugar to ferment a loaf of bread.

              Correct, yeast will still act in the absence of sugar but the fermentation process will be different in a number of ways. You will add sugar or not depending on what type of bread/dough you are trying to bake, on personal preference, and of course on whether you do have any sugar in the first place or not.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: How much brand awareness does the Whopper need?

                Yeast will NOT raise a loaf in the absence of simple sugars. In proper bread, the simple sugars are made by enzymes in the yeast and the flour causing large starch molecules to break down. Adding to this with the addition of table sugar (or other sucrose) makes for a one-dimensional end product. If you must add simple sugars, use honey. Sometimes I'll spike the honey with unsulfered molasses. (The sulfured stuff is bad for yeast.) ... if you go the honey/molasses route, pay attention to pH if you want proper browning.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How much brand awareness does the Whopper need?

      She was kind of big in the 1990s wasn't she? Never liked her comedy genre though.

    3. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: How much brand awareness does the Whopper need?

      "Unless you've been living in a cave all your life."

      Or in the sticks. There are still parts of the country with no ready access to television, especially in the all-digital age.

  15. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Flame

    that said, here's a challenge to Google - I *dare* you !!!!!!

    to fix the "OK Google" feature so that *if* it brings up the search screen AND does not receive any input (as if you may have accidentally triggered it) then it CLOSES THE F***ING search screen so that you can see whatever your phone was doing beforehand.

    It may sound a trivial niggle, until you are driving, using your phone as a SatNav, and the search screen pops up. You're forced to touch the screen. Not the safest thing at 70mph.

    Before there are loads of comments about "why not disable OK Google when you drive ?", I'd point out:

    1) It can be useful to have access when driving

    2) That's the *whole point* of OK Google anyway.

    1. joeW

      Re: that said, here's a challenge to Google - I *dare* you !!!!!!

      Just say "Cancel" if that happens. Assuming you're using the Android Auto app while driving that is.

      1. JimmyPage Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: that said, here's a challenge to Google - I *dare* you !!!!!!

        assumptions ...

        I don't use the Android Auto app, because it *insists* on dragging Google Maps into the party. And until Google Maps provides a speed limit display (like HERE does) it's dead to me.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: that said, here's a challenge to Google - I *dare* you !!!!!!

          "And until Google Maps provides a speed limit display (like HERE does) it's dead to me."

          Don't they have road signs where you live? Does your car not have a speedo?

          Having said that, this one of the many reasons I use a dedicated satnav rather than a phone pretending to be a satnav until it decides to be something else while navigating an unfamiliar area.

          1. JimmyPage Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: Don't they have road signs where you live? Does your car not have a speedo?

            Who said anything about a speedo ?

            I did have a dedicated SatNav (Garmin). Despite having lifetime maps (let's ignore the faff that you have to connect it to a PC, unlike a phone which automagically updates OTA) I gave up after a couple of lowered speed limits near me weren't changed for 3 years. That said, it still pisses all over the inbuilt Citroen Satnav I have which is a joke and a half.

            Also, in the UK, not all speed limits are signed ...

            There's some cognitive dissonance (or bullshit) in the arena of car apps and official policy - especially seeing as how we are told Google and Her Majestys Government have always been BFFs.

            a) - Nothing in Google Maps to help the cause of speeding prevention

            b) - Android Auto does not even provide an option that all calls should go to voicemail when driving, let alone make it mandatory.

            If Google Maps was as wow as Google say it is (it isn't) I would also expect a (configurable) feature to warn a driver of approaching speed limit changes.

            I stand by my previous assertion that all this frippery is just that. Frippery. If I was setting off on a trans-Sahara trek, I wouldn't choose anything made by Google.

            All my exposure to Google over the past 10 years has done, is to increase my admiration for NASA engineers tenfold.

      2. JimmyPage Silver badge

        Re: Android Auto - 50 shades of shit.

        Tried your suggestion. Can't believe Google can even dream they are a serious company, by how shit my 3 minute experience was, although to be fair it wouldn't be hard to fix ...

        1) Android Auto is inextricably linked to Google Maps. I know that because GM is disabled on my phone, yet AA found a way to launch it.

        2) All my subsequent gripes are therefore with Google Maps ...

        a) can't turn off voice prompts (make them softer, yes. But not "OFF").

        b) still won't show speed limits.

        3) I said "Play podcast" and got "I don't know how to play podcast".

        4) I said "cancel", and have in-car dashcam footage of the phone responding "I don't know how to cancel".

        I am 50 years old, and have broken and demolished so much new-fangled tech in my career, and Android Auto and Google Maps are just toys for now. I really wouldn't begin to dream of relying on them to use in a business environment.

        1. joeW

          Re: Android Auto - 50 shades of shit.

          Fair enough, I'm OK with Google Maps but I'm not a heavy SatNav user - I know it has limitations for those who are.

          This might interest you in the near future - http://www.androidauthority.com/beta-invite-waze-android-auto-761632/

          Waze for AA is currently in Beta. Once that's in place, you might find it more useful.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Android Auto - 50 shades of shit.

          "a) can't turn off voice prompts (make them softer, yes. But not "OFF")."

          Yes you can. Just hit the speaker icon to have turn-by-turn, alerts only or off completely.

          Others points I agree with.

          My preferred option is Waze, due to speed camera, hazard alerts in realtime. However, it doesn't do offline, is a bit clunky, doesn't seem to route as well as Google Maps, rubbish voice control, no longer visibly shows you if friends are viewing your drive, doesn't show approaching speed limit signs so that you can report them if they are incorrect as you cross them.

          I used Here maps to for a very long trip in Europe recently, offline maps are great, nice interface, very slow searching, speed limits were (relatively) frequently incorrect, can't report anything, can't share your drive.

      3. Horridbloke

        Re: that said, here's a challenge to Google - I *dare* you !!!!!!

        Buy what if you want to search for "cancel"?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: that said, here's a challenge to Google - I *dare* you !!!!!!

          "Buy what if you want to search for "cancel"?"

          Wouldn't the clue be, "FIND Cancel?"

  16. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Burger King

    Worst cup of tea I have ever tasted. I quite like their fries. Never had one of their burgers.

    1. joeW

      Re: Burger King

      Their burgers aren't bad as such things go. Possibly even contain some actual beef.

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Burger King

      They don't do fries, but neither does McDonalds.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Burger King

        If they don't, who does?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    37% fat

    but was the fat extracted from rats?

  18. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken
  19. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wk-_QwAEKGg

  20. 404 Silver badge

    BK's shirts are burgers....

    ... just figured that one out... Ugly shirt though.

  21. Black Betty

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this hacking?

    Unauthorized and unwanted access to a computing device?

  22. d3vy

    Why do they need to advertise? Surly by this point everyone knows what they sell?

    It's like coke and pepsi running adverts.. who exactly do they think they are reaching with these?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      People who have never heard the brands before, for example, because they've just come in from the sticks or foreign parts. Plus people forget. You need to remind them.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019