Technology Marks and Spencer

M&S experiments with ‘Christmas Concierge’ chatbot as part of Facebook competition


By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

November 29, 2017 | 3 min read

Marks & Spencer has released a chatbot which will offer tips on everything from cooking Christmas dinner to ideas on wrapping gifts after being created as part of a Facebook competition to improve the way brands use Messenger.


Marks and Spencer launches chatbot

An onslaught of brands bought into the idea of an AI-powered bot, but in February Facebook admitted that it had seen a “70% failure rate” and has since lost some of the brands that first started experimenting with the tool.

In an apparent attempt to improve the creative execution, the social network launched a Creative Shop Christmas Hackathon earlier in the year, asking agencies to submit ideas for how their clients could use Messenger in the lead up to Christmas.

Those judged the best were given the opportunity to get face-to-face feedback from a panel of executives including VP of Messenger David Marcus and chief creative officer of Facebook’s Creative Shop Mark D’Arcy as well as access to Facebook engineers to help bring the concept to life, plus media spend behind the project.

Creative agency Grey London submitted two concepts, including the M&S ‘Christmas Concierge’.

It’s the first time the retailer has experimented with Facebook Messenger bots. The service asks users to opt-in to receive daily tips on food, hosting and presents, they can also browse and shop from a series of curated festive while interacting further with the bot will surface “hidden messages” like a Percy pig cameo and jokes.

“The M&S Christmas Concierge is an exciting new product on a channel that our customers are increasingly using to interact with us and we can’t wait to hear their feedback,” said Megan Conneely, head of social at Marks & Spencer.

M&S' Christmas campaign launched earlier this month with a TV ad starring Paddington bear that it hopes will turn around this year's disappointing sales.

Technology Marks and Spencer

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