​Bots automate Muppet chats with fans via Facebook Messenger

Disney Accelerator graduate Imperson launched an AI-powered platform that enables virtual characters to engage with their fans and consumers.

Consumers can now talk to their favourite Muppet character on Facebook messenger, thanks to a chat bot that simulates virtual conversation between characters and their fans.

Disney Accelerator graduate, Imperson, has launched an artificial intelligence-powered platform that enables brands and studios to create conversational, virtual avatars of their popular icons as a way to engage fans and consumers.

Through the current campaign, millions of fans have the chance to chat live with Miss Piggy one-on-one via Facebook Messenger via the automated chat bot.

From December 2015, Miss Piggy’s Facebook page featured a ‘Message’ button, allowing anyone to message her in real time on Facebook Messenger and start their own unique conversation with the late night talk show host.

With the initiative in its early stages, co-founder and CTO of Imperson, Eyal Pfeifel, said it’s too early to determine its effectiveness yet.

“This is a long-term strategy building on the move towards messaging as a significant communication medium, allowing brands and commercial entities to communicate with users directly,” he told CMO. “It will take time to build the awareness, tools and reach for this to be measured.”

Imperson is an Israeli startup founded last year by Yaki Dunietz, Eyal Pfeifel, Seth Greenfield and Erez Baum, and develops virtual avatars of celebrities using artificial intelligence. It was one of 10 new businesses chosen for Disney’s class of 2015.

While it is not clear on the Facebook site that Miss Piggy’s virtual character is an automated bot, Pfeifel said the main goal is simply to provide an entertaining and authentic experience.

“Since Miss Piggy, like other TV or movie characters, is a character following a script, extending this into conversation is completely natural,” he claimed. “From our experience, users rarely question the authenticity of the conversation, for one simple reason: They need to believe.

“It’s just like watching a scary movie, and feeling scared, even though it’s only a movie. It’s part of the experience. At Imperson, we focus on bringing characters to life over messaging, mostly for promotion and storytelling purposes.”

Pfeifel is certain other companies will see the huge potential of integrating with messaging platforms. He believes users now expect brands and famous figures to be available also through messaging, and that this new medium is going to be a part of any significant social media presence.

Even startups will eventually need to automate their conversations in order to maintain efficiency and scale, he said.

“For brands on the rise who are starting their conversation organically, when the customer base grows, or spreads internationally, maintaining good response times for a 24x7 operation would become a challenge,” he added. “This kind of scale can only be achieved through automation (or very large support centres).”

Meanwhile, the Muppets characters are excited to be able to connect to their fans through social conversation.

“I see this as a gift to all those who love me, who admire me…and who have always dreamed the impossible dream of chatting with me,” said the Miss Piggy virtual character. “Here’s your chance. Come and get it!”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Launch marketing council Episode 5: Retailer and supplier

In our fifth and final episode, we delve into the relationship between retailer and supplier and how it drives and influences launch marketing strategies and success. To do that, we’re joined by Campbell Davies, group general manager of Associated Retailers Limited, and Kristin Viccars, marketing director A/NZ, Apex Tool Group. Also featured are Five by Five Global managing director, Matt Lawton, and CMO’s Nadia Cameron.

More Videos

Great read. I agree that it should be a perfect balance between interacting with your customers and knowing your brand. As a business, yo...

Caroline Scott

7 ways CMOs can improve their customer engagement game

Read more

Very true. Team development helps improve collaboration among the team members. I was able to improve my team's collaboration skills by t...

Quent Sinder

Why empowering others can help make you a great leader

Read more

CRM is a very good software that can help you succeed in your business. In my company, this system has allowed me to improve customer rel...

Anna Janicka

Sensis rebrands to Thryv and brings business software to Australian SMBs

Read more

AI Leasing Assistants have finally arrived for the multifamily industry. With so many to choose from it can be hard to figure out which i...

Alice Labs Pte. Ltd.

CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 6 May 2021

Read more

Nowadays, when everything is being done online, it is good to know that someone is trying to make an improvement. As a company, you are o...

Marcus

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

Blog Posts

Why if marketing is all you do, you’ll never be very good at it

OK, so you’re probably thinking: “Here comes another article to badger me about living in my bubble.” And also, “I bet this bubble-bashing piece will go on to explain how I can achieve better results through some heady dose of new life experiences, new routines and annoyingly different opinions on social media.”

Dane Smith and Toby Harrison

Ogilvy Australia

A leader’s role in rebuilding a culture of confidence

Every day, there are new predictions and studies on the future of work, the state of the economy and the unfolding global pandemic. All of which creates uncertainty and heightens the imperative of effective leadership.

Michelle Gibbings

Workplace expert, author

Confused About Your Customers?​

​I've worked in brand and marketing for more than 20 years. But there’s one area where I’ve found myself going around in circles and I must admit I'm becoming increasingly confused.

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in