Drive sales of the Google Home product range during the vital Q4 holiday season in the US.
Google Home was behind. Amazon’s Echo had more than double the market share (55% vs. Home’s 23%), was spending more in marketing (125% more), was offering a lower priced product all year round (Echo retails at c.30% less than Google Home at full price).
[Insight #1] While Amazon Echo had raised awareness of voice activated assistants and their capabilities, it was largely perceived as a fun toy. Something that was bought by early tech adopters for playlists, timers and party tricks but was not actually critical or essential.
Our challenge was to move the category into the mainstream and make it appeal to families and the general public as being more than a toy.
[Insight #2] Google Home needed to feel like a multi-purpose tool for your home.
However, in order to justify the premium price for a less established product and change perceptions of smart speakers, Google Home needed to go beyond just telling people this.
Our research found that, for our less tech savvy audience, the only thing that broke through was to live demo the utility and simplicity of the product. And to do that, we’d need to go beyond a traditional advertising approach.
We needed to make Google Home real, relatable and relevant in the busy holiday season.
Our entire Q4 strategy was simple in description but highly complex to execute in practice.
We would bring to life what Google Home could do for families by creating a series of unique media moments that placed Home at the heart of the biggest family entertainment events in America - from Halloween until Christmas -
Live-demoing the product across the holiday season.
We had one ambition for our media plan: to bring the holidays Home with Google.
Given we were coming from behind Amazon’s established position, we needed to go big. We bundled our budget to extract maximum partnership value from NBC – American families’ number 1 network.
For two months, across the US’s biggest TV shows, live events and movie releases we made Google Home part of American family experiences with a series of bespoke media partnerships.
On Halloween, we negotiated for Google Home to appear in The Ellen Show to spook the entire audience by controlling the lights and sounds effects on set.
In the Thanksgiving episode of Modern Family, Google Home helped the Dunphy's cook their turkey.
Google Home delivered and impromptu Madonna dance party in an episode of Will & Grace.
It helped Parks & Recreation stars Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman to narrate the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade through 5 custom-made TV spots.
And it even helped ring in the start of the Christmas season at the lighting of the world’s most famous Christmas tree at New York City’s Rockefeller Center.
In fact, Google Home didn’t stop turning on Christmas lights there. In a specially created TV spot it turned on lights and holiday music on the sets of NBC shows throughout December, including The Voice and Will & Grace and NBC's NFL sportscasters.
And, finally, as Americans across the country got ready to watch the biggest movie of the 2017 - Star Wars, The Last Jedi - it was Google Home that dimmed the lights in movie theaters before the iconic opening scroll lit up the screen.