Dunkin’ Donuts Tries Out Branded Selfie Lenses On Snapchat & Kik

What Happened
In honor of the National Donut Day, Dunkin’ Donuts became the latest brand to experiment with sponsored selfie lenses, a novel, camera-based ad unit that has been gaining traction among brands seeking to reach younger consumers on messaging platform. To celebrate the unofficial holiday, the Boston-based brand is running its first sponsored selfie lens on Snapchat, which will turn a user’s face into a donut. Along with the lens, the brand is also placing sponsored Geofilters in various locations around the country and will be running Snap Ads to promote a frozen coffee drink.

Meanwhile on Kik, Dunkin’ Donut will be the first brand to try out the branded video sticker, which, similarly to the selfie lenses, overlays a sticker on a user’s face during video calls (although it does not integrate the facial features as the lenses do). The brand created three different donut-themed video stickers that Kik users can have fun goofing up their video chats with.

What Brands Need To Do
With the proliferation of face-altering lens feature across messaging and social platforms, mainstream consumers are increasingly getting accustomed to these camera-powered AR features as a result. This is what is laying the groundwork for mobile-powered augmented reality to take off, which will allow brands to infiltrate their target audience’s photos and videos via sponsored Lens or branded AR objects.

Besides, this is a good time to think about ways for augmented reality to drive new opportunities for your brand. AR can, for example, be a great way for customers to envision your products in their lives and to launch digital experiences from signage or product packaging. What we can do now through a smartphone is just the beginning. As Microsoft’s HoloLens, Magic Leap, and the rumored Apple glasses roll out over the next few years, a lot more will become possible.

 


Source: AdWeek

Kik Introduces Concierge Bots That Chime In To Help You Shop

What Happened
Kik users will soon find themselves talking to more than one chatbot in one conversation as the popular messaging app launches “concierge bots” today. Designed to be like a friend helping you shop for clothing or makeup, Kik users can enlist their help when they are talking to chatbots from brands such as H&M, Sephora, and Victoria’s Secret. The concierge bots will chime in and offer suggestions based on celebrity styles, the occasions that the user is shopping for, and the inventory of the brand whose chatbot started the conversation.

What Brands Need To Do
This interesting new feature is illustrative of the potential capability of conversational commerce. By bringing in another chatbot, Kik is making the in-chat shopping experience more social and closer to a real-world shopping experience. As consumers increasingly turn to messaging apps as their primary channels of communication, it is important that brands follow the customers to reach them. To learn more about what chatbots can do for brands, check out our Medium post on chatbots.

The Lab has extensive knowledge about building chatbots. If you’re interested in reaching your audience on messaging apps and better serving them with a chatbot, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) for more information or to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: AdWeek

Kik Introduces An “Invite” Feature To Help Bots Go Viral

What Happened
Kik added a new feature for its chatbots on Friday that allows users to invite their friends to try them out. The Canada-based messaging app launched its Bot Shop in April and has since accumulated over 70 available bots from various brands, publishers, and game-makers. The first bot to receive this invite feature is a game called Zombie Invasion, and Kik says it is working with other bot developers to widely roll out this feature.

Why Brands Should Care
This invite feature should be a handy tool for brands to spread the words about their Kik bots and we expect other messaging platforms to come out with similar features for their bots soon. Early adopting brands such as H&M and Yahoo have launched branded bots on Kik to reach users, and more should take advantage of this new feature to aid chatbot discovery. With eMarketer predicting that messaging apps will reach 80% of global smartphone users by 2018, brands would be smart to start experimenting with branded chat bots to reach customers on popular messaging apps.

To learn more about how brands can use chat bots to better serve customers via messaging apps, check out our Medium post on this topic.

 


Source: AdWeek

 

Header image courtesy of Kik’s official blog

Why Paramount Created Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Chatbots On Kik

What Happened
To promote the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, Paramount Pictures is jumping in on the chatbot craze with four bots on popular teen chat app Kik which allow users to chat with the four Ninja Turtles. Each chatbot has a personality based on their corresponding character, designed to reply with witty responses, fun GIFs, and, most importantly, links to the trailer for the new movie. Kik officially launched its chatbot store last month, attracting brands such as H&M, Sephora, and The Weather Channel to develop chatbots for its platform.

What Brands Need To Do
Paramount’s effort offers another example of an entertainment brand seeking engagement with their prospective audience with a chatbot, following the Messenger chatbot that UM built for Sony to promote the Goosebumps movie. As we pointed out in our Fast Forward analysis on Facebook’s F8 Event, brands should consider developing useful bots to reach customers on the popular messaging apps they’re already using.

For more information on how brands can effectively reach consumers on messaging apps and other conversational platforms, check out the Conversational Interfaces section in our Outlook 2016.

 


Source: AdWeek

Messaging App Kik Launches Chat Bot Shop

What Happened
Kik, a messaging app popular among teens in North America, has officially launched an in-app store for chat bots today. Aiming to build out its platform and attract more brands and publishers, Kik now allows developers to use Kik’s API to create chat bots on behalf of brands and serve users with entertainment content, customer service, and other functions via automated replies. The Washington Post, for example, is working on a chat bot that can surface relevant news stories at readers’ requests. Other brands and media owners that are trying out this Bot Shop include H&M, Vine, and The Weather Channel. The new Bot Shop will be the focal point for their discovery.

What Brands Need To Do
The launch came right on the heels of Microsoft’s debut of its Bot Framework for building cross-platform chat bots last week. Similarly, Facebook also quietly released an SDK that allows developers to build bots for its Messenger app in January. While it is too early to tell how Kik’s Bot Shop will stack up against competitors, it nevertheless provides an interesting new way for brands to connect with young users. With eMarketer predicting that messaging apps will reach 80% of global smartphone users by 2018, brands would be smart to consider experimenting with branded chat bots to reach customers on popular messaging apps.

To learn more about how brands can use chat bots to better serve customers via messaging interfaces, check out our Fast Forward feature on this topic.

 


Source: AdWeek

Header image courtesy of Kik’s Blog

Messaging App Kik Introduces Branded GIFs

What Happened
On Wednesday, messaging app Kik introduced branded GIFs to its platform, as an extension of its emoji keyboard. The first two brands that signed on are Paramount Pictures and WWF, which will start providing GIFs of Zoolander 2 and cute animals, respectively, for Kik users. Kik says it will open the initiative to more partners over the coming months.

What Brands Need To Do
Stickers have become an important monetization tool for some messaging platforms. For example, LINE, a messaging app popular in Japan, made $75 million from its user-generated sticker market in its first year. Kik’s new support for branded GIFs should provide a great way for brands to engage more naturally with users with fun branded content.

 


Source: Marketing Land

Header image courtesy of Kik

Kik Partners With MediaBrix To Incentivize Ad Viewing

What Happened
Kik, a messaging app popular among teens, has struck a partnership with MediaBrix, an in-app ad platform, to help it deliver brand messages in a fun way. The plan is to reward users with Kik points, which can be used to unlock special emojis, stickers, and other exclusive Kik content, when they opt to watch an ad or play a branded mini game on Kik’s platform.

What Brands Need To Do
With the rise of ad-blockers and subscription services, it is getting increasingly difficult for brands to reach consumers, who mostly see traditional ads as a nuisance to be avoided. But Kik’s approach to in-app ads here points to a new direction where brands can earn attention by creating branded content that is part of the user experience. For brands looking to reach today’s elusive mobile audience, encouraging brand interaction with value offers and rewards is a good way to go.


Source: AdWeek

Header image courtesy of MediaBrix’s press release

Why Kik Raised $50 Million From Tencent

What Happened
Tencent, one of the biggest internet company in China, has invested $50M in Kik, the Canadian company behind the messaging app of the same name. By working with Tencent, maker of the immensely popular Chinese messaging app WeChat, Kik will no doubt benefit from WeChat’s experience building the most sophisticated messaging platform in the world and aggressively pursue similar strategies. The competition with Snapchat and Facebook Messenger will get more intense.

What Brands Should Do
As the messaging apps continue to diversify their services and revenues, brands, especially those eager to connect with the millenials and younger audiences, would be wise to realize the vast potential that messaging apps hold as full-fledged media platform, and develop a communications strategy for messaging platforms.

Last year, the Lab developed a campaign on Kik for Sony Music to promote a new album launch of popular boyband One Direction, which later earned us a Smarties Award from the Mobile Marketing Association.

 

Source: TechCrunch

We Won A Smarties Award!

We here at the Lab are very delighted and honored to learn that our previous campaign for One Direction on the popular messaging app Kik has earned a Smarties Award from the Mobile Marketing Association. The Smarties Awards recognize the most effective mobile marketing campaigns around the world, and the aforementioned campaign included a Kik Card that, in addition to connecting fans with the band, gave One Direction a 24/7/365 presence on Kik and a new channel to drive engagement. It also provided fans on Kik with exclusive unlockable content.

Snapchat To Add News And Ads

According to The Wall Street Journal, Snapchat is planning to broaden its offerings with video clips, news articles, and ads. It is reportedly in talks with advertisers and media companies about a service called “Snapchat Discovery” that would support such content.

Such support is certainly nothing new for messaging apps: Kik, for example, has been partnering with advertisers to run campaigns on its multimedia platform for a while now. Before Snapchat can capitalize on its estimated 50 million active users, however, some reliable measurements are needed.