Chatbot campaign helps in achieving a wide reach: Niraj Ruparel, Mindshare India

On the interactive video chatbot ad with social media influencer Mallika Dua, Ruparel spoke about how such a campaign weeds out trolls during a live chat

Niraj Ruparel

Mindshare and Idea 4G recently unveiled a voice-enabled Artificial Intelligence (AI)-led interactive video chatbot ad campaign that allows millions of users to pose questions to social media influencer Mallika Dua. 

Niraj Ruparel, National Head - Mobile, Mindshare India, and Sunita Bangard, President Marketing Vodafone Idea Ltd spoke to exchange4media about the campaign and how the brand leveraged on the chatbot concept. 

On the importance of AI in the campaign, Ruparel said: “The goal of AI is to understand the user questions, whereas Machine Learning (ML) helps assign an accurate answer. Given the ad environment where a significant number of users asked questions that were prompted (trending questions), the understanding at the assignment was fairly accurate.”
Asked about the marketing strategy behind the chatbot initiative, Ruparel said in order to showcase a brand, one must try digital-first initiatives as it helps reach a large number of consumers. With Idea and its 4G network, the campaign would only help increase engagements with its audiences, he added.  

The tool allows users to interact with Dua, and ask her questions ranging from personal trivia to the benefits of Idea 4G network, and the power of live videos by simply tapping on the mic icon. Trending questions are also prompted at the bottom of the screen which the user can scroll through. The innovation has been supported with live media banners placed on popular websites, which can be accessed through mobile phone browsers.
 
Leveraging on Dua’s popularity and Idea’s 4G network, the team decided to bring about a change in people’s social media behaviour and habits, and encourage users to go ‘Live’ to highlight societal issues. 

On the kind of issues being addressed, Bangard said: “Anything that should not be done in public interest and that they wouldn’t do if they were being watched.”

Throwing more light on the accuracy of the tool tracked by AI and Machine Learning, Ruparel said, “This was the first Live deployment at scale — and every user interaction was analysed manually. All questions and corresponding answers were checked by a data analyst to identify machine errors and train the system for performance enhancement.”
On how a chatbot campaign could weed out trolls during a live chat, Ruparel said, “This tool censors negative content from getting displayed (showing users what they said) in the ad. Additionally, when we identify any negative words or questions asked by users, we provide a generic response encouraging the user to ask another question. Since the user is talking to a Bot there is no incentive for a user to continue trolling. So trolls don’t have an impact on the ad campaign.” 

On the revenue model of the chatbot campaign and the budget allocated for the entire exercise, Ruparel said that the budget was enough to get the activity engagements going as planned. 

Talking about the upgrades in future, he said, “We have innumerable and valuable learnings from this exercise that will go a long way in helping us make the process robust. Any system that uses AI and ML cannot stop learning and improving. So yes, you will see upgrades in the future. Brand Idea will definitely look into this if it justifies the brief and the campaign idea.” 

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