- Google debuted a new campaign, "Home Alone Again with the Google Assistant," starring Macaulay Culkin reprising his role as Kevin McCallister from the 1990 film "Home Alone," the company announced in a blog post. The video racked up close to 7 million views in the first 24 hours after it was released on Dec. 19.
- A 60-second video, which appears on YouTube and was created with Arts and Letters Creative Co., shows Kevin, now 38 years old, with the house to himself and using Google Assistant to put "Operation Kevin" into action to lock the door, turn on the lights and keep the Wet Bandits away. The video includes clips from the original film that are integrated with Google Assistant devices, including the Home Mini, Home Hub and Pixel smartphone.
- Google has also integrated some of the film's most iconic moments and quotes into the Assistant for a limited time. Users can say, "Hey Google," followed by "How much do I owe you?" and the Assistant will reply, "Keep the change, you filthy animal." Or, "Hey Google, did I forget something?" and the Assistant will repeat the famous "Kevinnnnnnnn" scream from the film.
Google is paying tribute to the highest-grossing Christmas movie of all time and embracing '90s nostalgia with "Home Alone Again with the Google Assistant," while showcasing how its smart home devices work in a humorous way. The campaign should attract a lot of attention on social media from fans of the film and last-minute holiday shoppers considering a smart device, which is expected to be a popular holiday gift this year.
The smart speaker marketing is growing more competitive, with consumers showing a stronger interest in voice technology and voice-enabled devices. Smart speaker ownership increased to 27% of consumers this year, compared to 14% a year ago, per a study by Visa and publisher Pymnts.com. Nearly one-third of respondents who own voice-activated speakers used them to make a purchase over the past seven days, with groceries and food delivery the top categories for voice ordering.
Google controls 20% of the smart speaker market, lagging behind Amazon, which continues to dominate the market with 65%, according to the Voicebot research. Other brands, like Sonos, Bose, JBL and others, are gaining ground on the big brands, however. Most third-party smart speakers use either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant as their voice element, so Alexa and Assistant control about 95% with Apple's Siri at less than 5%.
The "Home Alone"-themed video and voice commands are Google's latest effort to highlight its smart speakers and voice assistant and stand out in the market. The company launched a voice-activated mini golf game experience in May to showcase the different ways that consumers can use its Google Home devices, with each hole on the course inspired by a different room in the house.