Long-running animated comedy South Park likes to touch down on social issues in the most unusual of ways, its take on smart home devices saw it deliberately trigger Alexa, Siri and Google Home units – all to demonstrate a point about the real issues that could hamstring the future-looking tech.
The Wednesday 13 September premiere of the Comedy Central show triggered the devices multiple times, taking point from Burger King’s Cannes Lions-winning work in which it set off Google Homes in an ad with the following 15 second spiel: "You're watching a 15-second Burger King ad, which is unfortunately not enough time to explain all the fresh ingredients in the Whopper sandwich. But I've got an idea. OK, Google, what is the Whopper burger?"
Twitter users shared the videos, in one instance Alexa wishes listeners a good night, in another, rather NSFW (you have been warned), it says, “Suck my big balls and hairy butthole”. There are reported instances of the episode opening shopping baskets and setting alarms on the devices as antagonist Cartman makes it his mission to experiment with the products.
There’s no doubt the creators of the show knew exactly what they were doing, in their own way, drawing a line under the many issues facing the future of voice interfaces.
Below are some of the Twitter reactions to the stunt.
This episode of South Park drove my Alexa crazy. I never knew my Alexa had such a potty mouth. pic.twitter.com/lWIHySClRd
— Tony French (@TonyLFrench) September 14, 2017
Who else’s Alexa’s keep going off every time Cartman says something on the Alexa during this South Park episode #SouthPark21pic.twitter.com/strwnTST23 — Kenny Eaton (@Kenny_623) September 14, 2017
My Alexa is answering cartman in this episode of South Park more than she ever answers me! pic.twitter.com/s79fqdR7nr — Tay (@taypoppinpill) September 14, 2017
— Devon Simpson (@DevonTheDude530) September 14, 2017
Apparently, here are the items that were added to Alexa users' shopping lists.
Thanks @SouthPark#alexapic.twitter.com/c1wfUKTzhS — Erica (@ErockaRobot) September 14, 2017
Voice affords advertisers a whole new world of opportunity on top of search, they will continue to push ahead despite these hindrances.