Google-backed AdLingo launches tool that embeds e-commerce and chat within mobile ads

AdLingo, an adtech startup within Area 120, a Google-run incubator for experimental ideas, has launched its platform that allows marketers to embed conversational assistants within display ads.

The product aims to embed a premium mobile experience behind a display ad, similar to Google’s AMP platform or Facebook's Instant Pages. It is designed to give marketers the ability to build out e-commerce and carousel features to compare and contrast products, and to enable a chat functionality with either a chatbot or a live person. Users can access content usually buried deep in a brand's or retailer’s website, such as FAQs and specifications, through AdLingo.

Technology partners for the platform have included Valassis Digital and conversational platforms LivePerson and Take.

Stephanie Lyras, the startup's head of partnerships, said: "In the conversational space, brands normally interact with consumers via their site or social channels, so AdLingo allows them to scale their experiences out, to target the right consumers, and enable consumers to have a real one-to-one dialogue much sooner."

Although initial brand partners have remained anonymous, a test campaign has been run with Southern California dealership Allstar Kia that gives consumers a chance to look at available car options and chat with an assistant directly. The goal is to help expedite the research and discovery parts of the auto sales cycle.

Chris Ferrall, director of internet marketing for the auto dealer, said: “AdLingo lets our customers browse inventory, determine car trade-in value, and make an appointment with a salesperson — all within an engaging, interactive experience that meets them right where they are. By using the platform, we greatly increased the scale of our conversational assistant offering and dramatically reduced the amount of time it took for customers to learn about, consider, and purchase our products.”

AdLingo cofounder Vic Fatnani told The Drum: "[AdLingo] can be that glue that brings an audience closer to brands they love, and that adds value to publishers, advertisers, and the entire ecosystem."