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Chromecast with Google TV is now serving full-screen, auto-playing Chicken Tender Wrap ads

This ad appears on the home screen with sound, and appears to be the first instance of a video ad for a physical product.

Published onJanuary 30, 2024

  • Chromecast with Google TV owners are complaining of a new ad on their TV’s home screen.
  • This ad is an auto-playing, full-screen ad for a physical product rather than the usual “recommendations” for digital content.

Many users have loved the Chromecast with Google TV for being a good option for watching movies and TV shows on dumb TVs. But many have also complained of the increase in ads that the Google TV variant of the streaming stick brings over its predecessors. The latest complaints on this end come from users who are now being served auto-playing video ads for food rather than the usual media recommendation.

Reddit users thevincentasteroid and MMD3_ posted about an auto-playing video ad (with sound) on the home screen. The ad is for Chicken Tender Wraps from Carl’s Jr. When it begins auto-playing, it pushes all the other UI elements out of focus and goes almost full-screen, returning to the home screen after it has played through once.

While Google TV has had video ads on the home screen for a while, these have usually been restricted to digital media content, like new TV shows and movies, served around under the guise of “recommendations.” Ads for non-media content (physical products) have usually been limited to static images. This appears to be the first time an advertisement for a physical product has appeared as an auto-playing full-screen video directly on the home screen.

Many users have tolerated “recommendation” ads as they can serve legitimate discovery needs in certain instances. But physical product ads on the home screen seem to have ruffled some feathers. As a workaround, annoyed users can install the Projectivy Launcher on their Android TV streaming device for a cleaner home screen experience.

The Chromecast with Google TV also received a software update recently. It is unclear if the update enabled this new ad format and placement.

We have contacted Google for comments on this new ad format for physical products and its placement on the home screen. We’ll update this article when we hear back from them.

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