As the digital marketing and public relations space becomes more and more saturated, communication specialists are looking for innovative tactics to reach customers in an impactful way. This has been true from the invention of radio to the dawn of the Internet boom. Communication with customers and stakeholders will always continue to evolve side-by-side with technology. In the current tech boom, we are seeing more and more ways that marketers and public relations specialists are able to reach their target audiences in the most efficient and effective ways possible.
In the past few years, there has been a rise in the range of in-home voice devices on the market. Two of the most popular brands are Amazon with the Alexa Echo and Google with the Google Home. While there are many versions of these devices on the market, these are some of the most advanced with the largest market share.
For the release of Netflix’s Stranger Things Season Two premiere, Google released a Stranger Things interactive game for their devices. With this partnership between Google and Netflix, a voice-activated game became available on both the Google Home and Google Home Mini that allows viewers to communicate with Dustin from Stranger Things via walkie-talkie. The game is simply activated on the voice device by saying “Hey Google Home, talk to Dustin from Stranger Things.” Over the course of the show, players are asked questions about the new season that helps players progress through the game. Once players complete the game, they are inducted into the show’s “Hawkins AV Club.”
Another in-home voice device game is powered through Amazon’s Alexa devices. In a partnership between E!’s Keeping up with the Kardashians and Amazon, the two created a quote quiz in honor of the 10th anniversary season to test fans’ knowledge on the show. The game is a quote quiz in which Alexa plays various popular quotes from some of the people on the show that are found throughout past seasons. To activate the game, players can say “Alexa, play Kardashian Quote Game.”
These types of branding strategies are not only effective for TV shows and other consumer goods, but beneficial for the in-home voice device brands as well. With these shows boasting multi-million person viewerships each season, having viewers know about the extra interaction that these devices present could have a impact on future sales.
About 24.5 million in-home devices were expected to ship in 2017 and experts estimate that in-home voice devices will reach 55 percent of households by 2022. This data show us that the in-home voice device market might be only starting to pickup now but the future of the devices and their marketing capabilities may expand rapidly. Depending on the market as it continues to expand, it would not be surprising to see more and different types of publicity methods communicated through these types of devices.