Who can resist a free drink? Absolut Vodka has been present for many a milestone—few celebrations, parties, or late nights would be complete without it. The Swedish vodka company sets “passion and perseverance” at the core of their success, which is appropriate considering how alcohol can fuel both those sentiments. Recently, they brought that spirit to a new Absolut chatbot that rewarded users with a cocktail of their choice.
FB Messenger VP David Marcus broke down the bot at TechCrunch Disrupt last year, describing how “it actually tells you where to go to get a free drink on Absolut, what cocktail you want to have, get a code, you show up at the bar, you give the code to the bartender, he gives you your free drink, and when he gives you your free drink you get a notification inside of the thread that offers you a Lyft ride back home.”
The straightforwardness of the sequence allows for a seamless transaction, though we hope user didn’t forget to tip their bartenders during the exchange—they’re still the ones making your drink, after all. Absolut’s bot cleverly collaborates with different establishments, as we imagine most customers who went out for the night didn’t stop for only one drink, much less one vodka-based drink. They even gave users options, with a choice between an Absolut Lemon drop, Absolut mule, or Absolut and soda.
The Lyft ride is an especially nice touch to remind users to drink responsibly, but it also feels like the only part of the campaign that really needs bot technology. With the promise of a free drink, Absolut could have easily just put out online coupons or bar promotions to achieve the same goal. Why not go a step further and ask users to like the Facebook page or leave a review while they’re at it? Still, the company’s decision to venture into new territory definitely deserves credit for trying something new—hopefully they’ll keep using bots for future marketing campaigns as well. Maybe it’ll even start a trend amongst alcohol brands, one can only hope.
When first launched, the chatbot only offered drinks in Denver, New York, Chicago, and Dallas with plans to expand to Washington D.C. While it’s a shame other parts of the United States couldn’t partake, the big-city dwellers were no doubt thrilled for an excuse to go out or free start to their nights.
What do you think about the Absolut chatbot on Facebook Messenger? Should more alcohol companies start doing the same thing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.