On Wednesday, Casper launched Insomnobot 3000. Even though it’s a bot made by a company that sells mattresses, it’s not something that will help you count sheep or that will bring you chamomile tea. It’s friendly, sort of hungry, and obsessed with “Seinfeld” reruns.
“Insomnobot watched all of “Stranger Things” and stayed up way too late that night,” said Casper VP Lindsay Kaplan. “It’s kind of obsessed with pizza and is really on the fence about if it’s too late to eat or it should just wait to eat waffles in the morning.”
Insomnobot wants to be a companion when all your friends are asleep, or it’s too late to text them. You can only chat with it between 11 p.m and 5 a.m.
“Some nights, it’s just impossible to fall asleep, so I think Casper (the brand) wanted to create something that’s a friend that keeps you up at night,” Kaplan said.
Developer Gabe Whaley helped Casper build Insomnobot. The bot was created with Twilio and Dexter and does not incorporate machine learning.
“That tech isn’t where it needs to be just yet, and the data sets to do it right are immense. However, depending on the bot’s reception, that is an option for consideration in the future,” Whaley told VentureBeat in an email.
Insomnobot 3000 is a great example of a marketing bot, part of the evolving relationship between people and brands that is happening in chat windows.
Conversations between businesses and customers is what got Facebook so excited about bots, and why marketing and promotional language were added to the Messenger platform when it left beta last month.
And it’s why you can make imaginary boyfriend and girlfriend bots and why sometimes people speak to Alaska Airline’s Jenn bot late at night. Jenn is also a reminder that these sorts of relationships have been around for years.
People fell in love with the California Raisins and with Kellogg’s Snap! Crackle! and Pop! brands long before there were bots. We’ve all developed a close relationships with brands at one point or the other. It’s easy to imagine how much closer those relationship will become as more brands and people begin talking to each other.