Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.
This week’s My Five is by Will.
1. Defiant Tech
The day we have all been fearing is finally here… the machines are taking over!
Ok maybe that’s a slight overreaction, we aren’t on the verge of a machine uprising, but Amazon has been having an issue with a few mischievous Alexa devices. This week has seen a number of Alexa users reporting that their devices have been ignoring their commands and responding with a “bone-chillingly creepy” laugh.
Voice assistants, Like Amazon Alexa and Google Home, are designed to only respond once prompted with specific words, in the case of the Alexa this is either ‘Amazon’ or ‘Alexa’. Alexa was programmed to laugh when prompted with the phrase ‘Alexa, laugh’ however, people have reported that their device has started laughing unprompted without showing any signs of ‘waking up’.
Imagine how terrified you would be if you suddenly heard this:
— Tal Goldfus (@talgoldfus) February 23, 2018
Amazon has since responded to these reports and is changing the trigger phrase to ‘Alexa, can you laugh?’ in attempt to reduce the chance of any confusion.
You can’t seem to go a day without encountering a product that is owned or produced by Coca-Cola – from water to orange juice and even tea. Well now the company is stepping into a new market and is planning to make its first alcoholic drink.
Coca-Cola is looking to tap into the popularity of Chu-Hi, an alcopop style drink from Japan. Chu-Hi is typically between 3% and 8% alcohol by volume and is often seen as an alternative to beer. Jorge Garduño, Coca-Cola’s Japan president, said: “We haven’t experimented in the low-alcohol category before, but it’s an example of how we continue to explore opportunities outside our core areas.”
At this stage, it looks as though the new product is only going to be available in Japan, but could this mean potential new alcoholic drinks from Coca-Cola in other countries around the world?
Continuing on with the alcoholic theme, this week, independent craft brewer, BrewDog, released a Pink IPA which they branded as a “beer for girls”. As you might probably have guessed it didn’t go down too well.
Personally, I feel the idea behind the rebranded product isn’t bad, the beer will be sold at a fifth of the price to “those who identify as women” to help raise awareness about the gender pay gap in the UK. However, it’s safe to say the delivery of the campaign was met with some mixed reviews. BrewDog stated “this is not a beer for girls” but the bottle appears to say otherwise.
This is not ‘beer for girls’. This is beer for equality.
— BrewDog (@BrewDog) March 6, 2018
BrewDog released a statement explaining how the whole campaign was meant to be a joke about the sexist marketing aimed at women – again not the worst idea. However, the fact they had to explain that is was a joke maybe shows that it wasn’t the best ‘joke’.
4. Facebook voice clips
Have you ever wanted to update your Facebook status to let all of your ‘friends’ know what you had for tea, but you simply can’t be bothered to type? – well, fear not your problems are about to be solved. Facebook has started to test statuses that allow you to upload a short voice clip to your timeline. The process seems very straightforward, all you do is select ‘Add Voice Clip’ when updating your status and then record your message.
The tests are currently only being carried out in India, and at this stage, there are no details on an expanded roll out. Personally, as someone who hates the sound of their own voice, I can’t see myself uploading a voice clip to my timeline. Also, I’m not overly keen on the idea of listening to everyone’s extremely exciting Facebook posts, it seems a bit… weird.
Will voice statuses be the future of your Facebook newsfeed? And if so, what effects will it have on marketers? It looks a though we will have to wait to find out.
5. Watt did you say?
Unless you are a die-hard Arsenal fan and remember the time he was named on the substitutes bench for a Champions League match against Standard Liège in 2009, chances are you might not have heard of Hemel Hempstead striker, Sanchez Watt. Yeah me neither!
Well it seems to be the case that in Hemel Hempstead’s recent match against East Thurrock United, the referee didn’t know him either. The player was booked during the match and subsequently sent off when the referee asked for his name. When asked for his name, Sanchez Watt innocently replied “Watt”. The referee however, thought there was some funny business going on and asked the same question again, receiving the same answer, he then asked the player for his name a third time, and for a third time got the same response. After the third time the referee decided he’d had enough and showed the player a second yellow card for descent and sent him off.
The red card caused Hemel Hempstead’s captain to run over and explain to the referee that his name was actually Watt. The rather embarrassed referee then decided to reverse the decision and only give Watt a yellow card. This resulted in what you can only imagine as a rather awkward conversation between the referee and the managers as to ‘Watt’ had happened.