A Total Google CES and Las Vegas Takeover

The Google CES experience is a huge hit at the annual, four-day consumer electronics celebration. Google Assistant, devices, product integrations, and partner ecosystem are the focus, and stars, of the exhibit. The experience has all of Vegas and everyone at the show asking Assistant about everything under the sun, “Hey Google!” The brand showcases all things Assistant, but, in a way only Google can—a three-story Google Assistant Playground, Assistant activations in over 150 partner booths, three 20 ft. tall interactive gumball machines, an engaging social presence, big product announcements, and 54 large-scale OOH placements along the strip.

Google Assistant Playground

Google goes BIG with the Google Assistant Playground. The three-level, 6,000 sq. ft. experience features outdoor and indoor spaces. It’s a wild, Googley wonderland of hands-on engagements that showcase Assistant and its many integrations into daily life—personal devices, at home, in your car and around town. Located in the Central Plaza near the entrance of the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Google CES Playground experience is packed with over 200 partner engagements, 450 partner devices, fun, food, drinks, and demos.

The First Level

The Playground’s entire forward-facing facades are massive LED screens that feature program and Google partner content as well as attendee selfies taken with a Google Pixel 2. The first level features a partner ecosystem product gallery with interactive displays, a kinetic Google Assistant cityscape diorama and cafe with rotating programs. Attendees satisfy their appetite for cool tech and good food at the Google Home Mini Donut Shop, Google Express delivery pop-up, Google Assistant Juice Bar, or Starbucks Cafe serving their handcrafted Nitro Cold Brew. Android Auto Demos take place under the carport, Conde Nast broadcasts live podcasts, and workshops explore the power of Assistant around the home. Elizabeth Falkner and Tyler Florence drop in to showcase the Assistant in the kitchen.

The Second Level

The second level features a Google Host guided experience. Groups of twelve attendees, dispatched every five minutes, explore three environments that showcase all things Google Assistant—Routines, Connected Devices and Capabilities. Routines is a media experience that collapses a twelve-hour day to three minutes. Attendees take a seat in the serene, circular room and watch, planetarium-style, how Assistant makes daily routines easier. The experience includes layered media, binaural audio and immersive effects. Upon entering Connected Devices and asking, “Hey Google, is it going to rain today?” the room becomes a kinetic sculpture. Multiple devices spring into action in response to the single query including the oven which bakes chocolate chip cookies. Groups move across the translucent transition bridge covered in written queries to Capabilities, a mirror-clad room of 16 stylized “London” telephone booths. Each booth offers a bite-sized, 45 seconds to a minute, demo of a Google Assistant capability from dropping a beat to a live conversation in a foreign language.

The Third Level

Attendees find solace from the show and crowds at the third level sun deck. The Google Assistant Juice Bar robotic bartender whips up favorite mixed drinks served with a splash of small talk. Headspace and Assistant help attendees who want to wind down with meditation sessions while Starbucks Pop-up Cafe serves their new Blond Expresso to those in need of a jolt. Guests have a choice of a normal exit down the stairs or the Googley way; down a custom-built, 21 ft. spiral slide!

Google Assistant Gumball Machines

The Google CES takeover activation includes three larger-than-life, 20 ft. gumball machines that offer a genuine Google Assistant product experience with a sweet reward at the end. The gumball machines, located at the LINQ Promenade, inside the Sands and at the main entrance of the Las Vegas Convention Center, create long lines of Googlers—up to 75 minute wait times. The custom, two-story designs mimic real gumball machines complete with operating coin slots and vending chutes. Each machine includes an embedded 75 in. LED screen that prompts guests to interact. Once at the front of the line, attendees receive a giant twelve in. aluminum coin from a brand ambassador. The coin’s inserted and the guest is prompted to ask Google Assistant a question from a predetermined set of queries. Assistant answers the question and rewards the guest by vending a giant gumball. The gumballs are filled with prizes ranging from Google branded gear and partner gift cards like Uber, OpenTable and Ticketmaster, to Google Assistant devices like Google Home Mini or devices that work with Assistant like Sprocket printers and Nest thermostats. The type of prize directly correlates to the question asked. A query about Caesar’s Palace may reward a Ticketmaster gift card.

Partner Programs

The Google CES takeover extends to 150+ partner brand experiences in multiple venues on and off property. Activations range from LED brand integration content to signage and product showcases to custom demo booths. 55 partner spaces are staffed with Google brand ambassadors.


“Hey Google” branding takes over Las Vegas with 54 large-scale OOH advertising placements—Las Vegas Convention Center, McCarran International Airport, MGM Network, Aria, Bellagio, Forum Shops, Fashion Show Mall, Harmon Corner, and Westgate. A takeover of the Las Vegas Monorail includes two fully wrapped three-car units with custom exterior and interior graphics. “Hey Google” 30-second daily monorail ads feature real-time query content that include time and location highlights, distance to the convention center and more.

How the Fun Gets Done

An experience the size of Google CES requires planning and flawless execution. The effort is supported by 100 agency associates, 171 brand ambassadors, and 250 crew persons. The Google Assistant Playground takes 21 days to install and 36 hours to dismantle. Production materials fill 24 trailers—1.5 miles of electrical cable, 70,000 pounds of steel and 800,000 pounds of temporary concrete slab.

CES is the world’s gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It serves as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for over 50 years—the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. It attracts the world's business leaders and pioneering thinkers.

Program highlights:

Ten strategically placed sensors track traffic, journey and dwell time at the Google Assistant Playground. 26 brand ambassadors survey attendees in lines and at exits of the Playground, at each Gumball Machine location, unaffiliated locations around the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Vegas Strip, unbranded monorail trains/stops, Uber/Lyft lot, and various shopping malls.

Total show impressions and engagements:

  • 41,500 impressions
  • 20,000 engagements

Google Assistant Playground Stats:

  • Average dwell time first level: 8.5 minutes
  • Average dwell time second level: 25 minutes
  • Product Gallery: 13,300 visitors
  • Product Trials: 5,000
  • Auto: 860 visitors
  • Cafe cooking demos with Tyler Florence and Elizabeth Falkner: 750 visitors
  • Donut Shop: 850 Devices, 4,000 Donuts
  • Pizza Party: 3,600 slices
  • Selfies: 1,582 selfies taken
  • Level 2: 1,600 visitors
  • Google Assistant Bartender: 2,530 juices dispensed
  • Google Express Popup: 674 prizes dispensed
  • Starbucks activations: 2,500 cups Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew/1,800 cups Blonde Espresso

Google Assistant Gumball Machine Stats:

  • 3,000 Google-colored balls fill the machines [3 colors; 1000 ea.]
  • Average wait time: 75 minutes
  • 5400 product trials
  • 5400 prizes dispensed

Social media highlights [4 days]:

  • 8.6 million impressions
  • 173,000 engagements
  • 331,000 video views

Experiential design highlights:

  • 6,000 sq. ft.; 184,000 attendees
  • Custom architecture and build; Google Assistant Playground
  • Three 20 ft. custom Gumball Machines
  • A CES/Las Vegas “Hey Google” takeover
  • Celebrity cooking demos; Tyler Florence and Elizabeth Falkner
  • 100+ winning PR headlines

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