2018 Award Winners: Chatbot Solution, Messaging and RCS Campaign categories

Following our recent Effective Mobile Marketing Awards Ceremony, we continue our round-up of the winning campaign in each category with a look at the winners in the Most Effective Chatbot Solution, Most Effective Messaging Campaign and Most Effective RCS Campaign Categories.

Most Effective Chatbot Solution: Walkers and AnalogFolk – Walkers Win Live
Saturday nights are one of the few occasions where the whole family gathers around to share something together. Whether that’s a brilliantly entertaining moment of trashy TV, or passing a big bag of crisps around.

Walkers wanted to establish Walkers sharing packs as the crisp of choice for family nights in front of the TV. As part of this goal, Walkers sponsored Saturday night programmes on ITV, with a series of TV ads appearing in the breaks of the I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, The X-Factor and Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. Those TV ads promoted an on-pack competition – a big weekly giveaway themed around the shows, with the grand prize draw announced each week live on Saturday night TV.

To encourage entries, Walkers hijacked the second screen, taking over people’s phones on a Saturday night and using its competition to keep them entertained during the ad breaks. In a first for Facebook, it used Facebook Messenger codes printed on packs to enter the competition. People scanned the codes and then chatted to a friendly AI chatbot ‘host’ which helped them enter the competition in seconds.

Once they were in, Walkers offered them something to keep them engaged in the ad breaks. Every Saturday night, viewers were entertained with a different batch of jokes, quizzes and games themed around the show on TV.

The chatbot turned potential pressure points (like sharing your email address or agreeing to Ts & Cs) into moments of fun and peppered the whole night with silliness, all delivered in Walkers’ irreverent tone of voice.

Winners were contacted via the chatbot and email, with giveaways enticing them to try new flavours and have another go the following week. To make the prize draw a bigger family moment, in the final ad spot of the evening, brand ambassador Gary Lineker opens an envelope to reveal the winner’s name, which is added in real time.

The results were impressive. The competition entry target was surpassed by 6 per cent. 48 per cent of users adopted Chatbot as their preferred entry route, beating the target of 30 per cent. And 28 per cent of chatbot users entered the competition twice or more.

“Shifting our competition entry mechanic from one we’d used successfully for years was a big risk,” says Ian Maybank, digital lead, WESA Snacks at PepsiCo. “No FMCG brand had done this before. But we were prepared to try this. What we hadn’t thought about was the ongoing engagement we could create with a chatbot. And it’s now something we’re considering across a range of PepsiCo brands.”

A great piece of work.

Judges’ View: “A really fun, real-time campaign for users to engage with. A brand adding to, rather than distracting from a family Saturday night experience is a fantastic accomplishment.”

Most Effective Messaging Campaign: BBC News and Urban Airship – Royal Wedding Weekend BBC News Rich Notifications
This BBC News campaign took the award both for its effectiveness, and the way in which it respected its target audience by making it easy for them to opt out with every message sent.

Around 24m people in the UK watched the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on 19 May. The BBC covered the event on broadcast television as well as online and on mobile through its news app, which uses notifications powered by Urban Airship. But the BBC and Urban Airship realised that not all of the app’s users would want push notifications about the event, so an initial alert was sent inviting users to opt in to receiving extra news on the wedding. Each subsequent notification to those who opted in included an ‘Unfollow’ button, making it easy to unsubscribe from the wedding notifications.

2 per cent of the BBC News app audience responded to the interactive notification campaign which is 4 times higher than the media industry’s average engagement rate of 0.5 per cent. 300,000 of those who interacted with the notification chose to receive the extra notifications.

An analysis of BBC News’s notifications sent to this targeted segment compared to broadcast (untargeted) Royal Wedding notifications from five similar UK news organisations showed that BBC News’s strategy achieved a direct open rate across the campaign of 13 per cent, which was more than 4 times higher than the other news outlets’ notifications average engagement rate.

The best performing notification for BBC News achieved a 30 per cent direct open rate which is extremely high for apps from any industry, especially media. The campaign also had an extremely strong retention rate, with only 12 per cent of users choosing to unfollow the extra notifications throughout the day of the wedding.

Judges’ View: “Executed extremely well on their strategy and we particularly liked the optin/out flow for users to make sure they were not alienating anyone. Good use of rich media to bring the day’s events to life.”

There was also a Highly Commended award in this category. This also went to Urban Airship, this time for their Franceinfo App, developed for France Televisions to enable the broadcaster to be the first media organisation in France to deliver real-time personalised results during last year’s French elections.

Judges’ View: “A great campaign, offering clear value to the consumer. Cleverly constructed to allow for user opt-out as well as additional personalisation.”

Most Effective RCS Campaign: Walgreens and 3C Interactive – Text2Clip RCS Program
Launched in early 2018 as part of a new RCS pilot program, Walgreens was one of the first mobile messaging deployments in the US using RCS business messaging. The current Walgreens Text2Clip program drives value to Walgreens by enabling customers to engage with paperless coupons.

Walgreens’ Balance Rewards members can text a shortcode to add paperless coupons and offers directly to their card, automatically redeeming them at checkout. Because the program has driven positive engagement metrics, Walgreens believed that an RCS-enabled experience would increase engagement further and improve the overall mobile experience.

The RCS mobile couponing experience enabled customers to access the latest coupons and offers via a dynamic chatbot solution, with users able to browse offers by category or search via keyword. Based on their selections, the customer is then presented with a 10 card carousel, enabling them to scroll through multiple offers and ‘clip’ the ones they wish to add to their account. The chatbot also contextually completes other requests such as viewing all clipped coupons or finding a nearby Walgreens location.

Campaign-specific data was unavailable as the deployment was part of an ongoing pilot program, but the campaign has produced positive results, including higher click through rates and higher overall engagement. The success of the campaign has informed future mobile messaging strategies, and Walgreens plans to continue RCS deployments as the technology grows in scale and adoption.

Any new tech needs some successful deployments to give it a kick-start. This one certainly ticks that box.

Judges’ View: “This is a relatively new technology so good to see a major brand like Walgreens getting in early. Great use of personalisation.”

You can see details of all the winning entries here.