Building Bots for Messenger: Gratafy Powers Absolut’s Cocktail Bot

Absolut vodka worked with developer Gratafy to build a bot for Messenger that provided potential customers a unique code to redeem a complimentary drink at their favorite bar and receive a discounted Lyft ride home in select markets last year. We caught up with the folks at Gratafy to learn more.

In 100 words or less describe what your bot does.

The Gratafy-powered Absolut bot allows Messenger users of legal drinking age to get an Absolut cocktail at local restaurants and bars. Consumers learn about the offer via targeted ads on Facebook News Feed, enter directly into a conversation with the bot for Messenger, and can share their location to find participating restaurants to enjoy their cocktail nearby. Upon selecting a venue, users then chat their way to ordering a specific cocktail of their choosing, an Absolut Mule perhaps, and redeem on premise via the Absolut bot, which talks to the restaurant’s point of sale system via Gratafy’s integrated technology platform. (Editor’s Note: this campaign is no longer live)

Who are you trying to reach?

Millennials of legal drinking age in key US markets where Absolut is focused on recruiting new consumers to become enthusiasts for the brand.

How did you go about designing your bot?

Gratafy modeled its bot after traditional product sampling programs, where brand representatives have historically hosted product trial events inside restaurants and bars. However, in Gratafy’s case, the human brand ambassadors are replaced by a bot acting on Absolut’s behalf to engage with consumers and serve them a cocktail sample inside a bar. Additionally, Gratafy followed Messenger’s best practices for design, leveraging a mix of available UX tools including quick reply buttons, icons, templates, carousels, etc. in a guided user flow with a clear user journey destination of obtaining a cocktail at a bar in mind.

What have you learned since launching? Any surprises or successes you want to share?

Prior to developing this bot, Gratafy has powered similar programs via mobile web app. We were pleased to learn that consumers preferred engaging with the bot, as we measured higher engagement, activation, and redemption rates – our core KPIs, verses that of mobile web. We also discovered that users wanted to learn more about the experience upfront and were more likely to convert through the entire funnel after chatting to receive more information verses plunging right in to the sampling experience itself without context.

What will you build next?

We recently launched a Bud Light bot for Messenger that allows friends to coordinate meeting at a bar together and sampling Bud Lights, all within native Messenger in the spirit of Bud Light’s focus on being the friendship beer. Beyond that are several additional bots for global brands we’ll be launching in the coming months so stay tuned!

Why Messenger?

The app’s install base has scale that provides near certain ubiquity among our brand partners’ target demographics and we can reach that audience in a highly targeted way via Facebook Newsfeed ads. So, the ability to reach targeted consumers on Facebook, drive engagement there that seamlessly connects over to Messenger where that engagement is escalated into a one on one conversation, and then to escalate that further from an online interaction to an offline interaction (ie: getting a brand’s product physically in a consumer’s hand) is pretty revolutionary.

Our Building Bots for Messenger series highlights different experiences on the Messenger platform. These businesses and developers have approached building their bots in a unique and interesting way, and are seeing success on the Messenger platform. Look for more bot profiles right here on the Messenger blog.

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