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Google's Christmas Tree Lights ad.

Editorial Staff

Originally, we wanted to put this into our satirical section because it's so stupid but actually it's more worrying than funny so.. read on.

In the USA, Google is running an advert about someone turning on the Christmas tree lights. He's crawling on the floor, bum in the air, chuntering.

One has to wonder if it demonstrates a generational shift.

Google's (presumably young and supposedly "tech savvy," whatever that means") audience is subject to attempted persuasion that all they need to avoid such a problem is to buy Google Mini plus a special "smart switch."

Google says it's easy to set up. These are the instructions, as per their website.

Turn on your Christmas tree lights with Google Home

Tired of searching under your tree for the Christmas lights and wall plug? With any Google Home product and a compatible smart plug, you can turn on your Christmas tree lights with just your voice!
What you need

Any Google Home product
Compatible smart plug

Step 1. Set up your Google Home device

Set up your Google Home device.
Step 2. Set up a compatible smart plug

Set up the compatible smart plug.
Important: Name the smart plug "Christmas Tree” in the smart plug’s app.
Step 3. Connect your Google Home device to a compatible smart plug

Open the Google Home app Google Home app.
Tap Add Set up device Have something already set up?
Tap the smart plug service, then follow the steps.
When pairing is complete, tap Back Back to return to Home
In Home tap the device > Settings Settings icon > NAME > enter "Christmas Tree" > SAVE.

Step 4. Plug your Christmas tree lights into a compatible smart plug
Step 5. Turn on/off your Christmas tree lights with your voice

To turn on your lights, say "Hey Google, turn on the/my Christmas tree."

To turn off your lights, say "Hey Google, turn off the/my Christmas tree."

And, just in case you can't take instructions in writing, Google has an instructional video. And, yes, that loser is sitting in his scarf in front of a tv showing a video of a fireplace.

But it's not that simple: first you have to get Google Mini. As a tech savvy person, do you go to the shops? No, of course not. You go online and that in most cases will mean first stop Amazon.com. And that means ploughing your way through all the ads that are as intrusive as all those pop up and pop-under windows that used to plague the 'web in years gone by (and which the target audience is too young to remember). What are those ads for? Amazon's Alexa (which is nothing to do with the long-established alexa.com) competitors to Google's box. Assuming you persist and actually buy the Google box and the smart switch, you then have to wait for it to arrive, follow all the steps above and, importantly, plug the "smart switch" into the very socket that you've been crawling around trying to reach.

Older people, who are less tech savvy, might just move the tree from in front of the socket.