​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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Innovations in retail will bring creative and technology closer than ever

While approaching a customer in a shop and asking what you can help them with is Retail 101, how many of us actually enjoy being approached? Generally, you have to give the forced, fake smile and say, “Just browsing, thanks,” while screaming on the inside, “just leave me alone!” Maybe it’s just me?

Jason Dooris

CEO and founder, Atomic 212

There’s a brand in my digital soup

Not a day passes by in the life of business executives where digital innovation or the prospect of disruption is not front of mind. This in turn, drives an unrelenting flow of questioning, discussion and strategy papers.

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

Author, marketer

Can marketers trust agencies again?

Unless you’ve been marketing under a rock, you’ll probably have questioned whether your media agencies are offering you transparency.

Nic Halley

Founder and managing director, Mindbox

Nice post Brad! very useful information. The retail stores are really mean for every brand I am agree with you. Now Online Service Market...

Srialto

The rise of online retail marketplaces and what they mean for brands

Read more

Minor correct Nadia, just wanted to clarify that the "Marketo consultants" that did this work, were actually Hoosh consultants

Fab Capodicasa

What it's taking for Edible Blooms to grow a stronger personalisation strategy

Read more

Im not surprise though, been in the industry for couple of years and I feel and see it with my tow eyes how eCommerce platforms innovated...

Jason Smith

Australia Post earmarks $20m for Australian ecommerce innovation investment

Read more

For marketers that are "going Agile" I recommend using Ravetree. It's a really powerful suite of tools for Agile project management, reso...

Janice Morgan

7 ways to run your marketing department like a software startup

Read more

Over the years very part of our lives has become technological. That’s why I am not surprised to see that Australian home loans are going...

GreatDayTo

Why Aussie Home Loans is embracing digital transformation

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in