Automat combines chatbots with display ads

The company has partnered with a Google-backed startup to expand the reach of conversational platforms.

Conversational AI company Automat has partnered with AdLingo to integrate its technology into display ads, bringing chatbot and conversational experiences to a new platform.

The partnership with AdLingo, a conversational artificial intelligence (AI) company currently part of Google’s Area 120 experimental projects incubator, will have Automat’s existing capabilties in AI integrated into traditional, impression-based display ads, facilitating chats with a brand’s platform. Brands from categories ranging from beauty to financial services have used chat platforms – like Automat’s – to offer things like advice and product recommendations to consumers based on information and answers they give over the course of an automated conversation.

Part of the motivation for the partnership is to bring the benefits of conversational interfaces to users outside of their own websites or social channels. While the audience using messaging apps is large, this new platform nevertheless opens up these interactions to users not using platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Kik, as well as to increase discoverability of these services among those who are using messaging platforms but not initiating conversations with brands.

Automat’s own research shows that, in the beauty category alone, 70% of consumers are overwhelmed by product choices, but 66% still prefer to be left alone while shopping. But 49% said that they would definitely or likely use a virtual advisor when shopping instead, whether online or offline.

L’Oréal Canada has already signed on as the first advertiser to launch a campaign utilizing this format. The beauty giant has worked with Automat before, previously partnering to experiment on a range of different conversational services for its brands.