Brands Kick Off 2021 With Voice

2020 saw bustling activity by brands in voice. From car manufacturers like Buick and Honda to CPG brands like Lucky Charms through to new products like Oral-B toothbrushes, brands across all industries are either creating experiences on smart speakers or integrating the tech into hardware. In 2021, we are already seeing companies embracing voice for campaigns and brand extensions. As a part of the New Year’s celebration, coconut water brand Vita Coco created a “Coconut Hangover Alleviation Device” on Alexa and Google Assistant to offer humorous hangover relief tips to users. The voice app also allowed customers to order Vita Coco through voice at a discount. Below, we discuss how confectionery company Cadbury built an entertaining voice application to bring out the creative and humorous side of its brands. As the year progresses, we expect to see similar use cases by brands as they become more creative in their quest to engage audiences and explore new channels.

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The Unhelpful Assistant

Cadbury and Google partnered to bring a “Do Nothing” mode to Google Assistant in India as an extension of the 5 Star chocolate bar’s “Do Nothing” ad campaign. By asking an Assistant-enabled device to “Eat a 5 Star,” users can ask typical questions, but the assistant will give sarcastic responses that don’t provide the answer to your inquiries. Eventually, the assistant will suggest “let’s do nothing.” Brand activations like these and MoonPie’s MoonMate are experiences that not only showcase brands’ playful identities, but create engaging interactions for customers while leveraging an emerging medium. More on 9to5Google

Alexa, Make Me a Bubble Bath

Kohler has introduced a voice-enabled bath tub as part of its new smart home collection. For the “Stillness Bath” — a Japanese-inspired luxury tub with lights, fog, and aromatherapy — customers can use voice commands via Alexa or Google Assistant to control the tub’s water fill and features. Users can also set preset routines via their assistant. In the past, Kohler has released voice-activated faucets and toilets, and this new collection is another illustration of the company’s innovation focus. With LG and GE also integrating voice into their appliances, major appliance manufacturers are betting on the future adoption of the smart home. More on The Verge

The Lenovo Show

Lenovo is releasing a new feature that will add Echo Show capabilities to the Yoga and IdeaPad laptops. With the new “Show Mode,” the laptops will support Alexa voice commands and the main features of an Echo Show device, including the viewing of weather, music, news, and control of other smart devices. This update, as well as Microsoft’s testing of voice search for Windows, is a step to voice-enabled web experiences. We believe these types of features will encourage users to become more comfortable using personal computers as voice-enabled devices, helping to build adoption of smart home appliances overall. More on TechHive

Stats Don’t Lie

34% of the 65+ US population have a smart speaker or smart display.
(data from Parks Associates via PR Newswire)

34.7% owned a smart speaker in 2020, an increase from 22.9% in 2018.
(
data via Voicebot.ai)

Chart of the Week

(eMarketer)

 

RAIN on TradeTalks

On Nasdaq’s TradeTalks, RAIN CEO Nithya Thadani joined Jill Malandrino to discuss how RAIN is working to bring voice technology to the “deskless workforce” — skilled workers that work in industries like agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, construction and transportation. Despite being 80% of the global workforce, this group has been drastically underserved by technology.

Watch the segment here.