Google Armisen

Google Gets Fred Armisen (and His Characters) to Spotlight Google Assistant Before Annual Hardware Event

Actor and comedian Fred Armisen is starring in new commercials for Google ahead of the tech giant’s yearly Made by Google hardware event. Armisen’s ads showcase Google Assistant (and his many characters) along with a month of deals for Google Nest and smart home devices before the event this fall.

Special Assistant

Starting this week, Google is offering a daily promotional deal on Google Assistant-powered devices, including different Nest smart speakers. To show off what the voice assistant can do, Armisen becomes a different character for every request he makes, like a writer asking for a translation from a Nest smart speaker and a tinted sunglasses-wearing book club member in a video conference using a Nest Hub. The ads are short, but it looks like Armisen will be making several, possibly one for each new deal, On Monday, the long-haired yoga fan character stared in an ad where he used the Nest Home to play relaxing music and sounds while stretching, a standard Google Assistant feature that is much funnier in Armisen’s hands. On Tuesday, a Nest Hub Max two-pack deal came with an ad called the Nest Grandpa Teleporter, with Armisen trying to talk his grandfather through finding a “rock that looks like wood” in a Google Duo video call. Notably, these ads all seem to be filmed in a single house, possibly Armisen’s. The campaign may have been inspired by the limits on groups getting together during the current COVID-19 health crisis.

Making Google

The promotions are likely Google’s way of both clearing out products in warehouses while bringing attention to Google Assistant before a bunch of new products using the AI comes out. Made by Google is usually in October, though lockdown rules may change the date and have it be purely virtual, like the recent Smart Home Virtual Summit the company hosted. Whenever the event is held, Google will almost certainly unveil the next version of the Nest smart speaker. The company shared an image and short video about the device after pictures of it were spotted in an FCC filing. Code-named “Prince,” the smart speaker is covered in fabric and looks very different from its predecessor, meshing more with the Google Nest Hub Max, Mini, and Hub style. The Google Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 mobile devices are also rumored to be part of the event. The 4a theoretically was going to come out earlier this year, but Google delayed its announcement because of the global health crisis. Now, it may arrive concurrently with the Pixel 5.


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