AdLingo Brings Conversational Chatbots To Advertisements

In short: Conversational AI startup AdLingo has now launched its conversational marketing platform enabling real-time two-way conversations between a brand's advertisements and prospective customers, according to a recent announcement from the company. Early access technology partners on the project are said to include Valassis Digital, LivePerson and Take, while the company has also revealed that its initial client list will include Allstar Kia and Tophatter. AdLingo's solution will allow consumers to interact conversationally with a chatbot that's embedded within digital advertisements themselves, asking questions about products and gaining insight into which products may best suit their needs. For example, a shopper on Allstar Kia's website will be able to ask the bot questions about vehicle inventory, the trade-in value of their current car, or schedule an appointment simply by interacting with an on-page ad.

Background: Traditionally, the advertisements in question have consisted of clickable images or animations couched in square or rectangular frames. More recently, those ads have begun to be based on a given user's prior activity online, in social media, on their smartphone, and in conjunction with location-based data. While that has created some noticeable changes in the quality of ads compared to the first iterations of internet marketing, AdLingo's new offering may be the first to truly evolve how interactions with those work. The most obvious part of that is the shift from a simple click to a back-and-forth conversation about the products being advertised. However, based on AdLingo's video explaining its product, the company takes things quite a bit further to offer up personalized direct product links rather than a generic redirect.

By way of example, a user might have a short discussion with AdLingo's chatbot about a range of products within a given category, such as shoes. The AI will be able to narrow down options that user might like and then present them with a scrollable list of several different pairs based on that assessment. Not only would that save a customer time, but it would also benefit the company by surfacing a more individualized product that the customer is more likely to buy. That's all thanks to more than two years of work from its initial starting point as a spin-out of Google's Area 120 experimental product labs, the company says.

Impact: There has not been a solid timeframe provided with regard to when the new AdLingo advertisements will begin appearing more widely online. Bearing that in mind, it won't likely take too long before other advertising agencies, including Google, begin to latch onto the idea and the concept spreads. In fact, that could happen relatively quickly, with consideration for the search giant's recent acquisition of another conversational AI company called Onward. While that wasn't necessarily the primary reason for Google to take the company under its wing, it isn't difficult to imagine Onward's technology being used toward a similar goal as that set by AdLingo.

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