KalaniBot analyzed and then simulated the influencer's
conversational style across all her social media accounts to define
its persona, but has not tried to fool fans that it is the real
Ms. Hilliker, who has 3.3 million followers on Instagram (which
was used to push the Kik campaign) introduces her bot and says,
"She thinks she's *actually* me lol."
CoverGirl's campaign is still underway, and KalaniBot gets
smarter with use as she learns new fan interactions, according to
its creators. Gifs, emojis and pieces of content are popular, for
example. A quiz format also works well, as "conversation" flows
when followers are asked questions like, "Which of these is most
true for you?" and are then offered a choice of responses.
The emphasis is mostly on practical topics, sharing product
information and providing access to deals. If it can't understand a
message, it says, "Hmmm, I didn't get that. Kalani's taught me a
few things, but I'm still learning."
Justin Rezvani, founder and CEO of The Amplify, said the company
will be able to create credible bots for more sophisticated
influencers that go way beyond make-up as a topic. "The whole point
is that what we are doing is not a scripted experience," he said.
"It's a whole platform that allows us to build bots and develop a
meaningful dialog around products."
The bot's detailed analytics deliver feedback on engagement
levels, providing reporting metrics across average conversation
length; sentiment analysis; semantic analysis; branded messages;
bot mentions; response rate; and purchase links.
"Bots represent an opportunity for the industry to close the
conversion loop by tracking clicks to purchases," Mr. Rezvani said.
"This means more transparency and accountability for how well your
strategies and content perform."
"CoverGirl believes beauty should be approachable and accessible
to all," said Ukonwa Ojo, senior VP at CoverGirl, in a statement.
"So we're excited to tap the power of bot technology to have more
personal and dynamic conversations and interaction with fellow
beauty enthusiasts about trends, how-tos and our diverse portfolio
In the U.S., brands are in the early stages of figuring out how
to use chatbots, computer programs that simulate conversations.
Mr. Jones left Havas, where he was global CEO, in early 2014
after a 15-year career at Havas that began in Australia. He started
New York-based You & Mr Jones to develop brands through
technology. Another company in the network, Niantic, created
Pokemon Go this year.