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Do Nothing Mode Gives Google Assistant a Sarcastic Wit to Promote Chocolate in India

Google Assistant’s new Do Nothing mode turns the voice assistant into an unhelpful and sarcastic, though amusing, parody of itself. Part of a marketing campaign by Cadbury’s 5 Star, a chocolate bar popular in India, Do Nothing mode is a clever inversion of Google Assistant’s normal behavior and points to how marketers are getting more creative in leveraging voice assistants in their campaigns.

Do Nothing Humor

As Do Nothing mode is designed to support sales of Cadbury’s 5 Star, it’s not available, at least right now, outside of where the chocolate bars are sold. For those in India or who can fool Google Assistant into thinking they are, you can activate Do Nothing mode by telling Google Assistant to “eat a 5 Star,” to which the voice assistant will respond, “I feel like doing nothing now. And I’m going to help you chill too. Ask me anything.” It’s a bit like the inverse of the Snickers commercials where a mean, sarcastic celebrity transforms back to normal when they eat the candy.

Google has sunk a lot of money and time into making Google Assistant as helpful as possible. The idea of flipping that script is inherently funny, and the responses cover hundreds of a surprisingly wide range of questions and requests, in both English and Hindi. Google Assistant has ready sarcasm when you ask it to make calls, suggesting you play hard to get while checking the weather earns a laugh at the idea you might go out, and even asking about nearby salons earns criticism of your grooming. You can see how it works in the video up top and a couple of examples in the screenshot to the right.

Serious Voice Marketing

As we pointed out in our list of 2020’s top brand innovators in voice, people are comfortable and familiar enough with voice assistants that humor can be a major asset in using them for marketing. It’s at the core of campaigns like 5 Star’s that are purely conceptual, without a physical component like Coca-Cola or DKNY provided. Being droll and fun to interact with draws users to at least try out a voice app and potentially the linked product. Humor is why people added the MoonPie MoonMate Alexa skill, bringing the snack cake brand’s popular, quirky Twitter personality to their smart speaker. It’s also why KFC Canada invested in the Brand Voice feature offered by Amazon Polly to give its Alexa skill the voice of Colonel Sanders.


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