A recent hack by Burger King has left quite an impression on everyone. Some are left concerned, others are angry, some fear for their privacy, and then there are those that are trying to figure out what was the goal of the hack, and did the everything even go as planned, or not.
The hack in question was a recent activation of Burger King’s TV commercial, that seems to be designed to trigger Google Home. This raised a lot of privacy questions, but it’s been suggested that the aim of the hack might have been commercial itself. The media, instead of Google Home. Let’s explore this theory.
The exact number of Google Home devices that were sold so far is not known, but in October 2016, it was estimated that the number of assistant devices from Google and Amazon would reach 3 million in 2017.
So, let’s say that Google sold 700,000 units so far. That would mean 700,000 homes have one, or fewer if some of them have more than one unit. That would mean that the commercial worked only in those homes IF they all had their Google Home near the TV, AND had their TVs tuned to channels that are airing the commercial. That’s a lot of assumption already.
This would leave us with a very small audience that actually had the chance to see the commercial.
However, if we consider the demographic, it can be assumed that most of those who bought Google Home early are younger people, mostly between 18 and 34. This is probably the most important audience when it comes to target marketing, and if this is the case, and that was Burger King’s aim, then they did a good job.
But, when you consider cord cutting, meaning people who are giving up on cable, then you’d need even greater precision to make this plan work, and that would mean that the Burger King’s hack had to target people between 18 and 34 years of age who still had cable, who watched commercials and had Google Home near their TV. That would be a really, really small audience.
That only leaves the goal of hacking the commercials and being accused of invasion of privacy and intrusive advertisement, which would give them the free media attention. If that was their plan, then it’s a huge success and not only that, but it also means that it managed to bypass Google’s block and let the ad trigger Google Homes, after an alternate version aired during the original slot that it already bought.
This is all just conjecture, though. If their goal was to create a media scandal, then it actually was a success. If not, then it’s just a huge accident, but whatever it was, Burger King’s currently in the center of media attention, which is a commercial by itself. It caused quite a stir not only in the regular media but on Wikipedia itself, since the events that happened caused real edit wars on it.