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Now You Can Talk To “Stranger Things” Characters On Your Google Home

This Netflix and Google collaboration is an intriguing branded content opportunity for the voice-activated device market.

Now You Can Talk To “Stranger Things” Characters On Your Google Home
[Animation: courtesy of Google]

“Okay, Google, talk to Dustin from Stranger Things.”

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That’s how easy it is to start playing a new game created by Netflix and Google for the Google Home smart speaker. Players answer questions related to Stranger Things season 2, debuting today, to progress through the game, with the ultimate goal of joining Will, Dustin, Eleven, and Mike in the Hawkins AV Club.

Google Home brand manager Kelsey Gliva says that while they do work with partners on a regular basis to make sure content is voice-enabled, so you can ask Google Home to play it on the TV, this is the first time that’s been extended into complementary content.

“In the creative process, we had several brainstorming sessions with Netflix and their content team to dive deeply into season two. And when we started thinking about Google Home as a walkie-talkie, the possibilities were endless,” says Gliva.

The game is divided into five chapters, and because it’s closely tied to the plot of Stranger Things 2, Gliva recommends watching the show first. The game can be played in about 20 minutes.

The staggering growth of voice-activated devices has put many marketers into overdrive, trying to think of ways to engage with consumers in a meaningful way on the platform. According to eMarketer, there are 45 million voice-assisted devices in the U.S. right now, with that expected to hit 67 million by 2019. Amazon’s Echo, powered by its artificial intelligence assistant Alexa, has more than 75% market share of smart speakers, according to a recent report by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

Gliva sees huge potential in branded entertainment for smart speakers.

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“We’re really excited about this as a first step to bring more entertainment partners and more IP onto our platform. I think fans, now more than ever, really want to be immersed in their favorite content,” she says. “What this opportunity shows is that there is a way for brands and entertainment partners to truly enhance their viewing experience in a way that’s additive and meaningful, and not in any way trivial. We’re excited about the opportunity this could open up. It’s just the beginning of what we can do.”

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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