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Zootopia fans help solve crimes via Facebook Messenger chatbot

Disney is using chatbots on Facebook Messenger to create an interactive dialogue with fans of animated film Zootopia, letting users discover and solve crimes while driving awareness for the film's DVD release. 

The Zootopia fan page on Facebook is interacting with fans in a more engrossing manner by bringing them into the storyline of the film with mini subplots in a game-like atmosphere. As the film appeals to children, the interactive chat game is an effective tool to produce more substantial hype and create a stronger fan.

?Zootopia's Judy Hopps experience is different from imperson's previous experiences because it was designed in the context of solving a mystery case and references a lot of content from the movie,? said Erez Baum, the co-founder and CEO of imperson, the developer behind the chatbot campaign. ?It was built for fans who could not get enough of Zootopia, and want to be a part of the movie's now available digital experience.

?Beyond menu-based chatbots for news, weather, traffic and shopping, there is a greater opportunity for Conversational Bots with distinct and authentic personalities that delight and entertain people,? he said.

Messaging magic
Users on Facebook Messenger can chat with an automated version of Zootopia?s main character Judy Hopps, an eager bunny on the police force of the fictional town. The chatbot experience allows users to become a part of the storyline by solving small cases based on clues given by Judy. 

Judy provides pre-programmed responses based on what the users says within Facebook Messenger. When users first send Judy a message, she introduces herself and brings the fan into her world through messages such as ?are you ready to make the world a better place,? and having the player pick a part of Zootopia to live in. 

Judy Hopps talks with fans on Facebook Messenger  

Fans can solve small crimes as a new ?ZPD? officer based on people, places and things within the movie. For instance, one message prompts users to determine who stole character Clawhauser?s bowl of cereal with the first clue being it was a ZPD officer.

Players that guess incorrectly will be given a few more clues to assist them in figuring out the identity of the culprit. Users that send a message such as ?Judy Hopps,? or ?you? for that particular crime were correct and received a ZPD officer badge.

Facebook Messenger users can continue solving similar crimes and will receive a badge that includes their first name whether or not they guess correctly. Disney reminds users that the film will be released on DVD through various messages within the chat, but at appropriate times that do not interrupt the playing experience. 

Users earn badges for participating 

For instance, after completing the first mystery, users will receive a message that reads ?Disney's Zootopia will be available on Blu-ray, Digital HD & Disney Movies Anywhere June 7.?

The age of AI
Microsoft?s recent chatbot disaster notwithstanding, an explosion of relatively easy-to-develop messaging interfaces is expected this year as marketers look to capitalize on the time spent in Facebook Messenger, Kik and other similar apps (see more).

Similarly, Disney also tapped into the personality of The Muppets' most outgoing character to drive the conversation about the new ABC series featuring the popular characters by allowing fans to message Miss Piggy on Facebook Messenger (see more). 

?Imperson?s Deep Context conversation engine allows AI-powered Conversational Bots to understand and process natural language,? Mr. Baum said. ?Every input by the user is evaluated based on context, intent, and attitude so that the bot can determine the best response to keep the conversation going. 

?Our chatbot experience allows Disney Animation Studios to seamlessly extend the storyline and big personality of Zootopia's main character, Judy Hopps, from the big screen to Facebook Messenger as the second biggest original movie of all time is released on Blu-ray, DVD, and on-demand,? he said.