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British Airways wants to recommend your next holiday destination with an emoji powered chatbot

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By Natalie Mortimer | N/A

December 21, 2016 | 4 min read

British Airways is the latest brand to dip a toe in the relatively untested chat bot waters, with an emoji powered holiday inspirational tool as part of its January sale marketing push.

The airline is utilising Facebook messenger’s bot technology to allow customers to interact with the sale using emojis. After answering a series of questions by choosing the most relevant emoji to them, the bot will recommend a holiday destination to suit their personality and mood.

The bot, built by Ogilvy & Mather UK’s new chatbot arm, forms part of a wider campaign that will see British Airways return its Holiday campaign to TV screens for the first time in four years.

British Airways

British Airways wants to recommend your next holiday destination with an emoji powered chatbot

The three 30-second BA Holiday brand ads, the first of which airs on Boxing Day, are based around the sentiment of making memories under the strapline ‘We never forget your holiday is something you’ll never forget’. The adverts will also run in cinemas nationwide and will be followed up with ten-second edits on Video on Demand and Sky Adsmart.

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Alongside a TV push, digital will play a role in the form of five different animated display banners running online and seven different digital out of home executions that will use real time traffic data to interrupt existing out of home ad schedules with sale creative. The creative is similar to the TV campaign and focuses on the concept of ‘What if?’ based on memories and unforgettable holidays.

Rob McDonald, British Airways’ head of marketing, said: “The January Sale is our biggest tactical campaign of the year so we are launching our most innovative Sale yet. Creating and distributing engaging content has been at the heart of the campaign resulting in a mix of interactive elements such as the Emojibot and a partnership with Buzzfeed, meaning we have lots of fun ways for customers to find their perfect holiday destination. We will also be the first UK travel provider to use dynamic video on Youtube therefore chartering new territory in our digital campaign".

Other brands exploring the bot space this Christmas include Pret a Manger, Notonthehighstreet, Pernod Ricard and Mondrian London.

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