As part of a larger campaign focused on reach, tune-in, and fan growth for AT&T/DirecTV's The Audience Network's new TV thriller and show adaptation of Stephen King's "Mr. Mercedes", we needed a way to communicate one-on-one with a cult of die-hard fans on social platforms who wanted a deeper relationship with the show and its characters.
We had a killer idea: the Mr. Mercedes chatbot on Facebook Messenger, and every die-hard fan's chance to chat directly with Brady, the psychopathic protagonist.
The Mr. Mercedes chatbot mimicked the sadistic tone of voice of Brady, engaging users into a world of dark thoughts and moments where they questioned their sanity. Once fans opted in, the chatbot asked users questions like: "Who would you be happy to never see again?" The chatbot even taunted the users by pretending to threaten to post their secret answers to provocative questions on their Facebook wall.
The chatbot became a direct channel to communicate throughout the season and drive weekly tune-in, turning the fan-engagement device into a marketing channel of its own. Essentially, our chatbot became the millennial-ready version of eCRM. Except this program talked back. And it was creepy as hell.
The chatbot became a real-world, immersive, be-a-part-of-the-show digital extension of the brand, and a real treat for fans that complemented the show narrative. We even inserted ourselves into the experience by posing as Brady and stalked our fans online, sending real-life stalking videos looking through our fans' profile pictures and even their entire profiles.
We got KILLER results. We exchanged more than 77k creepy messages with more than 1,300 fans who opted in to the conversation, including weekly tune-in notifications. Our chatbot interactions were so immersive that fans even asked if they were talking to a real person. The chatbot made headlines in Adweek, PromaxBDA, on Medium, on Reddit, and across various entertainment blogs, resulting in earned mass awareness towards the show and the innovative social approach.
Ultimately, we drove tune-in as part of the larger campaign, as Mr. Mercedes was renewed for a second season.