Celebrity chatbots are a fun concept, especially for those of us who don’t have Selena Gomez on speed dial, but do they work well as marketing campaigns? CoverGirl has created a chatbot version of Kalani Hilliker, the 16-year-old dancer and television personality best known for her appearances on Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition and Dance Moms. You can find this bot over on the messenger app Kik, which boasts a large amount of teenage users. As bots factor heavily into the Kik experience—H&M, Aerie, Sephora and number of other companies already have bots on the platform—it feels like the ideal place for a fun and quirky promotion directed to a younger audience.


Covergirl Kalani Hilliker Kik Bot


Unlike some company bots that lack a face or personality, Kalanibot aims for a conversational, energetic, and chatty conversation full of emojis. At the very beginning, it jokes “She’s a robot but thinks she’s actually me lol” and promises a coupon if you keep engaging with her. It’s an effective strategy to keep you interested and curious, even if you’re not familiar with Kalani. (No worries though, as there’s a response that’ll give you a brief bio of the star.)

Adage states that You & Mr Jones founder David Jones reports the results are largely positive, with “14 times more conversations with the chatbot than with an average post by Ms. Hilliker, 91% positive sentiment, and average of 17 messages per conversation, 48% of conversations leading to coupon delivery and 51% click-through on coupons delivered.”


Covergirl Kalani Hilliker Kik Bot


So does Kalanibot work as the “first influencer chatbot marketing campaign”? In short, yes. Created by marketing platform The Amplify and developer Automat, Kalanibot will no doubt attract fans of the television personality with an opportunity to ask the real Hilliker a question at the end. However, it also builds enough curiosity and the promise of a coupon feels more appealing when you have to “find” it through a series of questions. At points, we felt like we was playing a video game where you have to choose the right responses to get characters to like you.

Still, there’s still more for the bot to learn as typing your own responses doesn’t yield many results. The multiple choice is a nice touch since it allows a conversation to flow more clearly than a structure where feels like it’s trying to lead you a certain direction.

Senior VP Ukonwa Ojo says “CoverGirl believes beauty should be approachable and accessible to all, and that she hopes bot technology will allow for more “personal and dynamic conversations.” We’re excited to see how CoverGirl plans on using bot technology in the future to make cosmetics shopping more interactive and fun.

What do you think about the Kalani Hilliker Kik bot? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.