It’s impossible to avoid Google in Las Vegas this week at the Consumer Electronics Show. The company has a massive tent (complete with a slide and a ball pit) at the convention center; it has countless digital “Hey Google” billboards and other ads for Google Home and Google Assistant all over the Strip; and it even hired staffers to direct people to various Google events and meetings occurring at the hotels. For Google, it’s a full-court press as it tries to catch up with Amazon’s Echo and Alexa.
“The irony is that in the crowds of CES, it’s impossible for any company to effectively demonstrate their voice capability,” said Catherine Colwell, director of product management and strategy for Huge. “Google has gotten creative — their Google Assistant logo is by far the most prevalent, spread across a variety of marketplaces. Additionally, they’ve set up mini soundproof pods you can step into to enable demos.”
Throughout the week, both Google and Amazon have met with media companies, technology partners, and marketers as they try to get more content for their virtual assistant products and expand distribution inside third-party devices, including connected TVs, connected cars, and even smart glasses.
With marketers, the interest is high as clients ask for more information on how to approach Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. For Mindshare North America, its conversations with both companies focused on case studies and best practices for voice rather than any specific advertising product that might be in the pipeline, said Joe Maceda, Invention Studio lead for Mindshare North America.