- Google created a voice-activated mini golf game experience to showcase the different ways consumers can use its Google Home smart speakers, according to a Campaign US report. Each hole on the course is inspired by a different room in a house.
- Players learn the different ways Google Assistant and Home products can help them out as they make their way around the course, such as picking a TV show or turning on the lights.
- The experience premiered in New York City and will visit Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta through June and July. Visitors can RSVP online. Those who attend receive a pair of golf socks and can enter for a chance to win a Google Home Mini or Max.
With the mini golf activation, Google is using experiential marketing to let consumers play with its Home products and demo their functionalities in real life in a bid to drive sales as smart speaker competition intensifies. This isn't the first time Google has tied marketing its home products to gaming. For April Fools' Day, the company released an iteration of "Where’s Waldo?" in Google Maps that could be accessed via Google Assistant on a Home device.
Google has been vying with Amazon and also Apple for control over the smart speaker market and seems to be making waves. While global smart speaker shipments grew to 9.2 million units in Q1 2018, Amazon, which has been the dominant player, saw its market share slip to 43.6% from 81.8% year-over-year, per Strategy Analytics data. Google, on the other hand, more than doubled its market share to 26.5% in Q1 2017.
Though consumers are showing interest in smart speaker devices, market penetration remains relatively low, with most not embracing the technology to make purchases. With the mini golf game, Google might be able to erode some of that consumer resistance by creating a memorable customer experience that highlights the ease and convenience the devices can provide in daily life.