13 Jun 2024 07:32

Advertising & Marketing

AI chatbots in ads: The future?

We hear a lot about chatbots being used for customer service, but what about chatbots WITHIN an ad? Ad tech company Teads was the first to integrate an AI chatbot within outstream video ads, and global fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger was the first to use the technology. Teads integrated the TMY.GRL chatbot into video ads for the Spring 2017 launch of Tommy Hilfiger’s Tommy X Gigi collection.

This was a media first, and Kantar Millward Brown ran a custom study that accompanied the cross-screen, UK campaign which was running across premium News, Entertainment, Fashion and Lifestyle publishers. The objective was to drive awareness and purchase intent for the Tommy X Gigi collection, positioning the brand as innovative and relevant to UK millennials. By comparing results for users exposed to the chatbot creative vs. non-exposed, Kantar Millward Brown monitored brand lift across both mobile and desktop. The study measured user engagement with interactive ads and sought to uncover the effect of the format on brand perceptions. To factor in context of exposure, a high-quality mock-up of the campaign environment was created.

Formats used were landscape for desktop and vertical on mobile devices. The chatbot could be accessed via a call to action, laid over the video creative, which said ‘Good morning’ or ‘Good evening’, ‘Chat to us’ to ensure dynamic optimisation based on the time of day. The bot allowed consumers to explore items from the brand’s latest collection, by asking questions about customers’ individual tastes and required sizes. To purchase products suggested by the chatbot, customers were transferred to tommy.com, where the items had already been placed in their basket.

The results showed significant uplifts across awareness, favourability and consideration. This was echoed by the high engagement rates with the live campaign. Dwell time with the chatbot averaged 2’40”, for a total engagement rate of 3.3% and CTR of 0.9% – all above benchmarks,

Mobile impact was particularly strong among the core Millennial audience (18-30), which saw significant uplifts of +14% and above across awareness, favourability and consideration. The verbatim suggested the content and the appealing format which featured of Gigi Hadid, drove relevance among this younger audience.

Kantar Millward Brown findings from the study highlighted the impact the format has on users’ perception of a brand, with 67% of the mobile users admitting to finding the chatbot ‘fun and engaging’ and 75% referring to it as ‘easy to navigate’.

The research also confirmed the importance of the right mix of device, format and target audience. Mobile was consistently better at reaching and engaging millennial women, with those exposed to the mobile chatbot three times more aware of the Tommy X Gigi collection, and more likely to click on the ad, visit the website or the physical store.

Insights from this study led to Teads further validating its chatbot product offering. Teads rolled out the format to more clients across categories and is testing new innovative formats, such as voice-activated bots.


Written by Jane Ostler,Global Head of Media Insights Division, Kantar

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