The Google Home Mini voice assistant was designed to simplify daily tasks for consumers, so to illustrate the device’s use cases and cement its position as a cornerstone of Google’s smart home ecosystem, the brand created mini golf course pop-ups in four cities across the U.S. Whereas last year the brand focused on driving awareness of its voice assistant products through a Google Home Mini Donut Shop (the idea: it’s the size of a donut with the power of a superhero), this summer’s challenge was to keep the conversation going by highlighting product integration with family-friendly activations.
“This was a consumer push to get people to understand how Google Home can help you overcome life’s little obstacles,” says Amanda Matuk, Head of Hardware Experiences for Google. “The experience was two-fold in terms of its goals. Number one is to be as engaging and magical experience for consumers, and two, to get them to understand how Google Home and all of its partner products fit into your life and actually help you navigate through life’s little obstacles—both as a metaphor but also as a physical challenge with a mini golf course.” The goal was to “showcase the entire smart home ecosystem, and how the Google Home products, as voice-activated speakers, are the linchpin in that home ecosystem.”
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Open May 30 through July 29, the course—two options with four holes each—effectively took the shape of a home: a bedroom, a kitchen, a family room, a play room, a garage, a sun porch and a backyard. At each hole, signage indicated which voice commands consumers should use to trigger the Home Mini. For instance, the bedroom was all about routines. A simple “Hey Google, good morning” would turn on a lightbulb, adjust the thermostat, read the local weather forecast and finally trigger an umbrella to open and reveal the hole consumers should play next. “The product nuance we’re getting across there is with Home you can set up a routine that just by that simple trigger can have multiple actions happen in your house,” says Matuk.
Another example: In the living room area, consumers were prompted to control the television with just their voice, which then activates live sports on YouTube TV—an additional service the company is working to promote. “The point is, every action that you request with Google Home it triggers a series of physical actions in the golf course for the enjoyment of the consumer but also to demonstrate what’s possible in your home.”
Expect to see more from the Google experiences team. “It’s really been over the last two years where we’ve been focusing on consumer engagement for the hardware in particular. In that respect, we’re just hitting the tip of the iceberg, because there are a lot more interesting, engaging things to come.” Agency: MAS Event + Design, Brooklyn, NY.