UK cinema chain Odeon has launched a ‘showtimes’ chatbot, allowing cinemagoers to discover what is playing at their local Odeon and book tickets through Facebook’s Messenger.
Since Facebook introduced bots back in April, a growing number of brands have adopted the technology. Facebook Messenger's offering has signed up everyone from movie ticketing service Fandango to Dutch airline KLM to publishers including CNN – and even outgoing POTUS Barack Obama.
Odeon's chatbot, developed by social technology company Gruvi, requires users to like the brand's Facebook Page and then either click ‘Message’ or type 'Odeon' into a chat search. After a greeting from the bot, users are asked for their location or what films they are interested in seeing. The bot then informs the customer of nearby cinemas or where, and at what times, their selected film is showing. Once a decision has been made, the customer is sent a link to a booking page.
“We’re very excited to be the first cinema chain in Europe to offer our guests this type of innovative service,” said Peter Waugh, head of digital & CRM at Odeon Cinemas. “With 1bn users worldwide, Messenger is the perfect place to offer Odeon assistance. We’re always looking for new ways to give our guests a better service – and the chatbot will help us to answer a wide variety of questions and give a lot of information, while also allowing our guest service teams to concentrate on providing more bespoke assistance to other guests.”