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Google and Sainsbury's unveil voice-activated banner ad

8th Jun 2014
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Banner ads are old news. While they may have their marketing uses, many of us have seen so many that we’ve just become totally desensitised to them and wouldn’t even notice let alone click on one. In fact, Business Insider has even reported that you are 475.28 more likely to survive a plane crash than you are to click on a banner ad. Great news for nervous flyers, not so great for digital advertisers (who now, ironically, may be the nervous ones).

However, a new development in the digital advertising world is set to make click-through redundant. Following the development of the Food Rescue app from Sainsbury’s, the famous supermarket brand has teamed up with Google to launch the first ever voice-activated banner ad.

The advert will act as in the same way as the app; you will be able to speak the names of the ingredients you need to use up, you’ll then presented with a list of relevant recipes which include those ingredients.

Sainsbury’s head of brand communication, Mark Given, has spoken of how people struggle to make the most of their groceries, often being forced to throw out perfectly good food which could have gone to far better use: “A fifth of the food that is bought in our stores is wasted and 60% of that is perfectly edible. Not everyone can plan a meal perfectly and people need a bit of inspiration to help them.” 

He continued: “Google and Sainsbury’s have a great relationship at a number of layers. Our management talked about a year ago on partnering to develop something that met both of our objectives, so we worked closely over the last six months to bring it together. We understand customers and recipes and Google is the best at really simple intuitive technology.”

And how much more convenient and intuitive can you make the process than to have an ad – which will appear on a host of sites including Google – which you don’t even need to click on to activate? Google's happy too, as it gets to use its fancy Web Speech API function.

“Long-term we’re committed to using technology to make things easier but this is the first time we’ve looked at voice in a more serious way,” Given said. “It will be interesting to see what the response is.”

We’re predicting a pretty good one; there is a definite call for a tool like this. Research recently found that web searches on wasted food have risen by a third, with 64% of these queries coming from mobile. This advert’s audience, then, are all ready and waiting – they just need to say the word.  


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By Wilges
31st Mar 2018 04:20

I guess online banner advertising is basically about being smart enough to trick viewers to come and view the ad. Banner ads have really low views on a general scale so a new approach needs to be put in place to get the views that are needed. In time, viewers would get tricked to come and view a particular ad without their knowledge. An ad could even be automatically played and viewers would be forced to see or hear them even if they choose not to.

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