Humans have been sending other humans emoji for thousands of years now, so it’s only right that the system should be used by brands. Speaking of which, South African cheese brand Lancewood has announced a nifty little marketing campaign relating to its Ultimate Braai Master partnership.
Dubbed Lancewood Emoji Meals, the company’s using a Facebook Messenger bot and your choice of emoji to receive related recipes featuring one of the company’s products.
“By sending a food Emoji to LANCEWOOD®’s Facebook page via private message, the Bot instantly responds with a recipe or tip related to the Emoji. As an example, Clarissa sent the brand a strawberry Emoji and the Bot responded with a recipe for fruit cheese salad with strawberry vinaigrette — a delicious braai salad,” the company explains.
It’s pretty simple.
We gave it a shot, sending a cake emoji to the company on Messenger. What did we get in return? A blueberry and raspberry cheesecake cup recipe.
Lancewood Cheese is using Facebook and emoji to send users unique recipes containing its products
The idea behind the campaign, explains Lancewood marketing manager Shereen Anderhold, was to give people agency, rather than inundate them with brand messages.
“People are often bombarded with a slew of marketing messages on brands’ Facebook pages. These posts quickly lose their appeal as they lack the essence of what these platforms are about: engaging with customers, giving users the opportunity to receive information in a fun, educational way and speaking to their core interests via inspiring, relevant conversations,” Anderhold explains.
There are a few limitations though.
The bot doesn’t recognise written messages. So typing “hello” or “help” into the text box returns… well, nothing. Additionally, if you thought you could prank the bot into sending recipes involving busses, buildings or cats, you’ll be disappointed.
“We consider ourselves pretty innovative in the food department, but maybe we could encourage you to try cooking something a little different. Try sending us a food emoji for an Ultimate Braai Master recipe or tip,” is the reply we got when we sent the bot a rainbow.
Facebook Bot marketing is by no means novel though.
Companies like Lufthansa, CNN and TechCrunch all boast bots that allow users to either book flights, or keep up to date with the latest news. Overall, Facebook Messenger boasts over 11 000 bots as of June 2016
If you’re feeling some culinary bankruptcy coming along, head on over to Lancewood’s Facebook page and give the bot a go.
Disclosure: The Lancewood bot was created by M&C Saatchi, the parent company of Memeburn.