Google is making a case that it’s serious about competing with Amazon Alexa and seizing available market share by continuing its heavy promotional push for Google Assistant at SXSW.
The company came to Austin this year to get consumers more acclimated with voice technology and artificial intelligence with the Google Assistant Fun House, which demonstrated some of the ways people are using its Actions in everyday life. Google also shuttled attendees around the city with Google Hoppers, a branded ride service that was free to all SXSW badge holders.
During SXSW, the company’s experiential marketing strategy and presence was similar to the one it activated in January and was a continuation of the ad campaign it introduced during the Academy Awards.
People in Austin appeared to be interested with the fairly nascent platform of digital assistants and the promise voice technology presents. The Fun House regularly had some of the longest lines during Interactive to experience the activation.
Attendees who entered the space were greeted by a Google-branded lowrider that was parked on the lawn. With the voice command “OK, Google: bounce,” the car danced up and down to music—like War’s “Low Rider.” Through a partnership with Spot Hero, it also exhibited how people can find parking spots and even a lost car through the digital assistant.
Upon leaving the classic car, guests were able to see how they could trigger a water sprinkler through voice before being invited into a 12-room, two-story home that gave people a look into how voice can be integrated across all touchpoints.
From lights to litter boxes to laundry, each section of the house exhibited different ways people are using voice technology to make their lives simpler.
Google also used SXSW to showcase partners like Patrón and Dominoes and how it’s building an integrated ecosystem around Assistant in order to keep pace with Amazon. The tequila brand was a first-mover into voice in 2016 and brought a margarita bar that dispensed cocktails on command.
“It’s pretty obvious Google is trying to integrate voice into as many things as possible,” said Jesper Nolhage, a user experience specialist for Volvo who was one of the attendees that toured the space. “The demonstrations in the house felt more like gimmicks than actually meeting real needs, but it was still interesting to see what Google is able to pull off.”
— AListDaily @ #SXSW (@alistdaily) March 11, 2018