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Google Businesses The Almighty Buck Technology

Google Home Gets 'Beauty & The Beast' Promo But Google Says It's Not an Ad (marketingland.com) 124

Danny Sullivan, reporting for MarketingLand: Ask Google Home what your day is like today, and it will remind you that Disney's Beauty and the Beast is opening today. Google says this isn't an ad. But it's definitely an out-of-the-ordinary cooperation with a Google Home "partner." The promotion was spotted by Bryson Meunier, whose child was definitely excited to hear the news delivered by Google Home. "This isn't an ad; the beauty in the Assistant is that it invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales," a spokesperson said. The company doesn't list Disney as one of its partners on Google Home website, the report adds.
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Google Home Gets 'Beauty & The Beast' Promo But Google Says It's Not an Ad

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is still an annoying piece of shit.
  • by gweilo8888 ( 921799 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @03:22PM (#54052789)
    I was considering buying one of these for my kitchen. I'm not any more. I have no interest in adding more unsolicited advertising to my life.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Only a fool would put one of these eavesdropping devices in their homes on purpose. Don't let the feminine names fool you. They're no friend of yours.

    • I have no need for one of these things. My smartphone can do voice stuff, why do I need another appliance that always listens and always uploads what is around it? If I want another device to watch what I do, I'll just buy another microwave.

      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        f I want another device to watch what I do, I'll just buy another microwave.

        No, no, you need a Nest thermostat in every room to watch you have sex, and some "smart" device in the bathroom to watch you poop. Can't we have some more enthusiasm around here for the internet of things that watch you poop?

      • You don't leave it on all the time - you bring it out for parties. The drunker your friends are, the more fun.

    • by lgw ( 121541 )

      I was considering buying one of these for my kitchen. I'm not any more. I have no interest in adding more unsolicited advertising to my life.

      Is it in any way surprising that a home appliance sold by an advertising company starts ... advertising? I mean, really, who didn't see this coming.

  • by davecotter ( 1297617 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @03:23PM (#54052799)
    "This isn't an ad" Umm, yes, it is. This is doublespeak.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Like how NPR doesn't have ads, they have 30 second messages from "contributors".

      • by nmb3000 ( 741169 )

        Like how NPR doesn't have ads, they have 30 second messages from "contributors".

        I used to tolerate NPR's ads because they were short, all read by the same woman (with a nice soft radio voice), and infrequent. However I'd swear that in the last year they've increased the frequency and duration of them by at least 50% and changed voices to an unpleasant man's voice. I now mute the audio or switch stations when they come on.

        I abhor advertising and refuse to partake in it, so I usually pay for services. However if something like NPR is going to run ads anyway, why should I continue to do

  • Renumeration (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nightfire-unique ( 253895 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @03:28PM (#54052841)

    Did Google receive any renumeration in exchange for inserting the message? If yes, then it is an ad. Full stop.

    • It doesn't matter if Google got paid for it. It's an ad either way.

      • I would contend that Google being paid for it is sufficient to make it an ad. Whether that's necessary, I don't know. If Google wasn't paid, it just noticed you buy midnight showing tickets to every Disney Princess movie, does that make this an ad or an assistant?

        • If Google wasn't paid, it just noticed you buy midnight showing tickets to every Disney Princess movie, does that make this an ad or an assistant?

          It would still be an ad, it would just be a solicited one rather than unsolicited.

          That may very well be what happened here, but I have my doubts because the person reporting it seemed to consider it surprising (which he wouldn't do if it was clearly the result of past behavior), and because Google didn't raise that as a defense.

          • It would still be an ad, it would just be a solicited one rather than unsolicited.

            If Google or Disney were saying "tell people who would like Disney Princess movies about this movie", I would totally agree with you. But what if* Google's algorithms think this is just news you would like, that X is happening (even if it costs money). I mean, how is that different from being told "those build the wall/impeach trump stickers you put a watch on are back in stock" or "they just released studies that eating a p

            • "they just released studies that eating a pound of bacon a day leads to immortality."

              You cruel bastard, just for a split second you gave me hope.

      • You didn't have advertising in the 20th century?

        Well sure, but not in our virtual assistants. Only on TV and radio, and in magazines, and movies, and at ball games... and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts, and bananas and written on the sky. But not in our virtual assistants, no siree.
      • Is it any different from Netflix showing you recommendations based on your past viewings and ratings?

        • * Google learned about the movie and that is targeted at kids. This is probably the subtle Disney ad ("be our guest") mentioning letting partners provide data, but they could also just have scanned movie listings like everyone else.
        • * They probably sussed out that you have kids.
        • * They recommended it based on these facts.

        It sure would be nice if you could turn these recommendations off, though. It's more b

    • Re:Renumeration (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16, 2017 @04:16PM (#54053173)

      It's an ad, but not for Disney. It's an ad for Google Home. They did it so potential advertisers can see how "naturally" it can slip ads into people's lives in a new way.

    • by dv82 ( 1609975 )
      *Remuneration*. It doesn't matter if Google was numbered again.
    • Yes. They will now be known as 5.
  • Playing with fire (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nightfire-unique ( 253895 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @03:32PM (#54052869)

    Google is playing with fire here...

    I was quite literally just about to buy a Google Home speaker, but will hold off for now to see how this plays out. I don't do ads, and many millions of others also don't do ads.

    Greed may kill this product yet.

    • Google said, "it invites our partners to be our guest" be our guest, put our magic "it isn't an ad" to the test!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I was quite literally just about to buy a voice activated advertising device from the world's biggest advertising company, but this slashvertisement about how an advertisement once heard on said device is not really an advertisement has really changed my mind!

    • I don't do ads

      You are aware that Google is basically an advertising company?

  • by Zargg ( 1596625 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @03:35PM (#54052893)

    I'm guessing those people have searched Beauty and the Beast while signed in to Chrome at some point. And just like Google Now cards, it's an update to a product that showed interest in, so it is brought up with the question of what's happening today. One part Ad yes, but I don't think they would do it specifically for Beauty and the Beast, it may very well be a new regular response with others like: "That console you've been researching is released today" "That TV you price checked is on sale today", "That show you like has a new episode today", etc.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Although you're very smart to connect the two, as it is common for browsers to 'offer suggestions & ads' based on browsing history: It does not matter. Such a question was not asked of the device.

      When one buys a home assistant, and it begins 'volunteering' unsolicited happenings around the community to you, those are ads.

      If you ASK it to tell you the latest happenings around the community that's different.

      The is literally The Truman Show in real life:
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt01... [imdb.com]

      Where the character

    • I'm guessing those people have searched Beauty and the Beast while signed in to Chrome at some point. And just like Google Now cards, it's an update to a product that showed interest in, so it is brought up with the question of what's happening today. One part Ad yes, but I don't think they would do it specifically for Beauty and the Beast, it may very well be a new regular response with others like: "That console you've been researching is released today" "That TV you price checked is on sale today", "That show you like has a new episode today", etc.

      That is some backflipping you're doing there to excuse this. I'm usually reticent to jump on the bash-Google bandwagon, but this is pretty clearly a blatant advert. Listen to the wording and the music, it's not a 'helpful' message like the examples you give. In a reddit post author says "I don't believe I've done any searching for the film either, so I think it's not due to perceived interest."

    • I'm guessing those people have searched Beauty and the Beast while signed in to Chrome at some point. And just like Google Now cards, it's an update to a product that showed interest in, so it is brought up with the question of what's happening today. One part Ad yes, but I don't think they would do it specifically for Beauty and the Beast, it may very well be a new regular response with others like: "That console you've been researching is released today" "That TV you price checked is on sale today", "That show you like has a new episode today", etc.

      You'd think that, but I very recently got a Google Now card right at the top of the list (ahead of weather etc. whereas that's normally the very top) which told me Nicki Minaj had a new album out. I've never listened to, searched for, bought or in any way shown an interest in that, and I've never been alerted to any band that I do actually listen to/search for having a new album out.

      It was immediately obvious that was 'sponsored content' and probably pushed out to millions of people, right on their home scr

  • Damn, Google (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @03:43PM (#54052939)

    At least have enough respect for people to be honest. Don't lie straight to our faces with that "it's not an ad" bullshit.

  • of course it's an advertisement.

    Google define: advertisement
    a notice or announcement in a public medium promoting a product, service, or event

    a ... thing regarded as a means of recommending something.

  • I keep thinking the Amazon Echo and Google Home should be free because Amazon and Google are getting far more benefit from the devices than the purchasing consumers are. As it is, they're building Trojan horse devices for our living rooms *and* they're getting consumers to pay for them. If the devices were free, however, I suspect fewer people would want them because they would have less perceived value. By charging a substantial price for them, Amazon and Google make consumers think they're getting someth
  • Just...wow (Score:4, Funny)

    by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @03:55PM (#54053017) Journal
    “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.”

    If this is 'Assistant' speaking, why is it giving OPINIONS on gender? If you read this as marketing copy, its easier to stomach, marketdroids are used to feeding you an opinion. However, if you take it as YOUR Assistant, the message is MUCH creepier. Its like hiring a secretary and them constantly saying 'brought to you by Carls Jr.'

    Either Assistant is a servant, or a salesperson, it cannot be both.
  • You bought a device from a company that makes most of it's money from ads and you're surprised when it said device suddenly has ads... I'm not shocked about this and I'm surprised it took this long...

    I'm just surprised it wasn't like "Hey, I've checked your schedule and you've got a couple free hours tonight, based on your movie preferences you'll like Beauty and the Beast! It's showing at a theater that's 1.5 miles away from you! Would you like to purchase advanced tickets?"
    • by Sebby ( 238625 )

      I'm just surprised it wasn't like "Hey, I've checked your schedule and you've got a couple free hours tonight, based on your movie preferences you'll like Beauty and the Beast! It's showing at a theater that's 1.5 miles away from you! Your tickets have been ordered and are ready for pickup."

      There, FTFY.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's not an AD it's SYNERGY (Jazz Hands)

  • "This isn't an ad; the beauty in the Assistant is that it invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales," a spokesperson said.

    You really have to hand it to Google, when they sell out, they go all the way.

  • Difficult to define, but you generally know it when you see it. If this looks like an ad, it probably is.
  • Far out, and they have the gaul to pretend it isn't an advertisement! This makes the decision very clear.... I *HATE* ads... like with a vengeance. Doing something like this is a breach of trust (yes, I know Google is an advertising company, but when I *pay* for a device I expect it not to also have ads. This is also the reason I have been holding off on buying a new laptop that runs Windows 10, I've seen the advertising M$ is doing in the interface ("Try Edge!", "Use OneDrive!", etc) and can't bring mys
  • Believe me, this is not an ad in the same way that Clinton did not have sex with that woman.

  • by mr.dreadful ( 758768 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @05:05PM (#54053551)
    " invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales.." Ah, so this is a free showing?
  • There is no escaping companies using every means necessary to inject themselves into the hearts and minds of members of society.
  • I wouldn't mind getting millions of dollars in free advertising. I mean, it wasn't an 'ad' so Disney didn't pay anything for it, right?
  • google can claim it's not an ad but that's exactly what it is.

    spammers also always say "my spam is not spam, it's important information that you need to know". they're fucking lying too.

    advertising in all its forms is a crime against humanity. manipulation, lies, deception, propaganda, psychic assault, normalisation - even reification - of consumption, and all the other varieties of bullshit.

    • google can claim it's not an ad but that's exactly what it is.

      spammers also always say "my spam is not spam, it's important information that you need to know". they're fucking lying too.

      advertising in all its forms is a crime against humanity. manipulation, lies, deception, propaganda, psychic assault, normalisation - even reification - of consumption, and all the other varieties of bullshit.

      OK, but could you please let us know what you REALLY think about advertising?

      • by cas2000 ( 148703 )

        what do i really think?

        the problem might start getting solved if we hang a few thousand marketing people and advertising execs for their crimes. provide some disincentive.

        or, for poetic justice, drown them slowly in pits full of shit.

  • the beauty in the Assistant is that it invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales

    I, too, have partnered with Google, am your guest, and will share my tale.

    Once upon a time, in the far-off land of Nigeria, there lived a prince.

    This prince had inherited a fortune of FIFTEEN MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS...

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