Marks & Spencer and its agency Grey London are debuting The Marks & Spencer Christmas Concierge, a bot that was originally developed during the Facebook Creative Shop Christmas Hackathon.
Agencies around the world were challenged to submit ideas that used Messenger in an innovative way in the lead-up to Christmas. Grey London collaborated with M&S to submit what it calls an idea that wasn't "fully formed." However, Grey was the only UK agency among the five shortlisted by Facebook.
This won the opportunity to travel to New York to get face-to-face feedback from a panel of executives including vice president of Messenger David Marcus and chief creative officer of Facebook’s Creative Shop Mark D’Arcy. The team was also given access to Facebook engineers to help bring the concept to life, plus media spend behind the project.
The service offers customers inspiration to help them plan their perfect Christmas. Users opt-in to receive daily tips on food, hosting and presents. They can also browse and shop from a series of specially curated festive menus. There are also some “Easter eggs” (hidden messages) to amuse UK fans, including a cameo by Percy, the character from M&S's pig-shaped gummy candy line.
The experience is available for UK customers until Dec. 24, with shoppers able to order food until Dec. 14.
This project represents the retailer's "most personalized Christmas campaign ever," says Vicki Maguire, joint chief creative officer, Grey London. "This bot allows us to reach customers in a truly innovative way, with the perfect blend of personality and functionality.”
A demonstration video can be viewed here.