Cannes Lions

Google Home Mini Golf

GOOGLE EVENTS + EXPERIENCES, San francisco / GOOGLE / 2019

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Google Home devices are designed to be helpful in a million little ways, but a lot of people still don’t know how to take full advantage of them, or understand how they fit into their lives. They see a smart speaker, like the Google Home Mini, and think ‘Oh it plays music and I can control the volume with my voice’, but the truth is Google Home can help you in all sorts of different ways around the house.

To help open the aperture on how people viewed Google Home, we were tasked with creating a scaleable experiential tour. Our goal was to drive product understanding and consideration with ‘joyfully hectic families’ in America. The tour needed to be playful and interactive, while easily and clearly communicating just how helpful Google Home can be for overcoming all the small obstacles of everyday life at home.

Idea

In a category overwrought with pristine smart home demos, Google wanted to create an experience that felt less robotic and more familiar to help families understand how much they could do with Google Home.

We uncovered that "mini victories" were the secret sauce that lets parents power through their day; the difference between feeling overwhelmed or overjoyed. It’s these small victories–like getting the kids ready for school, remembering to turn the lights off, or winning at–that the Google Home is uniquely suited to help with.

Inspired by a regular home and everyday moments, we turned the smarts of Google Home into a 7 hole technology fueled, real world game for families: Google Home Mini Golf. This one-of-a-kind, voice-activated mini golf course would recreate the nostalgic game with a modern twist: players would have to ask Google for help navigating the course.

Strategy

We uncovered that "mini victories" were the secret sauce that lets parents power through their day; it’s often the difference in feeling overwhelmed or overjoyed. It’s in these small victories–things like getting the kids ready for school, remembering to turn the lights off, or winning at dessert–that the Google Home is uniquely suited to help with.

With the start of summer and kids out of school, life becomes even more hectic, so we wanted to create a family friendly destination that delivered a series of these wins: a place all about life's little obstacles. We took one of America's most beloved family-friendly pastimes, mini golf, and injected it with the smarts of Google Home, then took this typically suburban tradition into the heart of 4 major markets (NYC, CHI, LA, ATL) for families to enjoy together.

Execution

At the start, the course felt like the classic game: players choose a putter and ball and began their tour of the green. But on each hole, players had to ask Google for help. Inspired by rooms in a typical home, each hole represented an obstacle in someone’s daily routine, with all the actions real things that Google Home can help you with.

Anyone who’s been around smart speakers knows they can trigger one another in an environment where people are excitedly querying them. Using custom software and mechatronics, we designed for background noise, crosstalk, and different voices, while staying true to product capabilities. Directional microphones ensured the Assistant was able to understand and respond by routing the audio through a project box to the Google Assistant SDK. Our software knew which queries targeted which holes, allowing us to control the experience. Tee boxes containing an infrared light sensor only un-muted devices when players prepared to putt.

Across 7 holes, the course showed off how Google Home can search for recipes, play Spotify, cast YouTube TV, view a Nest Cam, broadcast messages throughout the house and more. For example, when a player queried, “Hey Google, turn on the fan,” fans connected via smart plugs turned on, blowing a windmill’s blades and unblocking a path, so players could move along the course. On another, “Hey Google, show me the backdoor camera,” cast a Nest camera to a screen, revealing the back half of the hole (“the backyard”), enabling the player to see how to play through obstacles, like unicorn shaped hedges.

For people who couldn’t visit the course in person, we created clickable stories on the Google Instagram to allow golfers anywhere to experience the joy of removing obstacles with some help from Google Home.

Outcome

Pardon the pun, but the Mini Golf course was a hole in one for Google.

77,850 product interactions

51,440 attendees

617,000 minutes (more than 10,000 hours) spent on the course with the product

82.5M Press Impressions

35.9M Social Impressions

118M+ overall impressions

But most importantly...

75% of golfers said their understanding of the Google Home Mini product increased

54% of golfers would consider purchasing a Google Home device as a result of playing Mini Golf–a 43% lift over our control group

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