- The Dodo, a digital media brand for animal lovers that's owned by digital holding company Group Nine Media, today released a chatbot to help people decide on animal adoption, per a statement exclusively made available to Mobile Marketer. The "Dodo Adoptbot" is geared toward families and individuals who want to be matched with an ideal pet in their area.
- People can start a conversation with the bot by texting to 38349 or by opening a chat on Facebook Messenger. The SMS bot is live today, and the Messenger one will run tomorrow. Dodo Adoptbot offers users videos of cute animals and a profile of each day’s adoptable pet that’s also featured on The Dodo's Snapchat Discover channel.
- YuJung Kim, president of The Dodo, said social media and mobile devices are key ways for the company to engage with its audience. "As the No. 1 animal brand on digital with over 20 million Facebook followers, Messenger is a natural place for us to launch our Dodo Adoptbot — in addition to its SMS version," she said by email.
The Dodo has cultivated a large audience of animal lovers with its blend of information and cute pet videos that people like sharing with others. The Dodo Adoptbot is another way for the company to engage its audience while educating people about pet adoption.
The Dodo has three goals for the chatbot: raising awareness about dogs and cats that need loving homes, giving people advice while helping them to manage their expectations about pet care and creating an entertaining content experience for viewers.
"The Adoptbot serves up Dodo videos on command — around the mission of getting as many animals adopted as possible," Kim said.
The timing of the bot's launch makes sense as the spirit of generosity during the holiday season is often extended to giving animals a new home, although it's important that prospective pet owners are prepared ahead of time. Giving up pets is also common during the holidays, as the Huffington Post reported. Holiday stress, a lack of planning for pets alongside family vacations and an inability to afford a pet as holiday expenses loom can lead to abandonment.
The Dodo bot joins a quickly growing list of new brand bots over the past few weeks from companies across industries, including 7-Eleven, Kia, Saks, Marriott and Progressive.
While chatbots were plagued by poor experiences early on, platforms like Messenger have been working to improve the experience while marketers continue to see opportunity in the channel for reaching younger consumers on a variety of devices. Messenger is actively appealing to small businesses to build chatbots and testing the ability for the chat platform to reside on brand's websites.