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Immersive Shelters

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Voice Assistants are an emerging technology, heavily dominated by Amazon Echo who had sold five million devices before the Google Home even launched.

While Amazon Echo had done a lot of the leg work in getting people aware of voice activated assistants and their capabilities, it was perceived as a fun toy, great for playlists, timers and party tricks and only the early tech adopters were interested. 

As a challenger in the category, Google Home needed to appeal to families and the general public, demonstrating that Google Home is more than a toy; it's a powerful tool for your home.

Research told PHD that two features within Google Home people found most appealing; the room temperature and room lighting controls. Given Amazon Echo dominated the early tech adopter crowd, and knowing the preferred features of the Google Home, the agency focused on families – young tech forward and young affluent professionals who, with their time starved lifestyles, would be most receptive to having a helping ‘hand’, or voice, in the home.

But, to appeal to this audience, who up until now were uninterested in the category, it needed to demonstrate these features in a real way – it couldn’t just talk about them.


The idea was to bring the Google Home from inside, to outside.

Due to busy and joyfully-hectic schedules these families and affluent professionals are exposed to less media than the general population. But they do commute. Every single day.

As it knew the temperature and lighting controls were the most appealing, PHD took those features to the coldest darkest city in the US, Chicago, and demonstrated these features in a way they couldn’t, and wouldn’t want, to avoid.


It transformed some of Chicago’s busiest bus shelters into mini-Smart Homes with functioning heat, lights, and music.

Using an interactive touch screen, commuters could turn up the heat, dim the lights and put on whatever music they liked, giving them the experience of Google Home, and much needed respite from the harsh winter.

The shelters were designed with the local iconic architectural style of its location, each with unique commands and queries contextual to the neighbourhoods they were in. Reinforcing that Google Home becomes part of your Home, whatever your style, needs and demands might be.


Over a six week period Google Home saw a +14% absolute lift in aided awareness and +10% absolute lift in purchase consideration, which was more effective than any other OOH format utilised.

The mini-Smart Homes successfully increased understanding of the product benefits (+19% absolute lift) through the thousands of interactions a week (50%-70% more interactions than any comparable campaign in industry).

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Electronic Goods
Household Goods
United States
November - December 2016
Media Channel:
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