Zootopia’s Judy Hopps Facebook Messenger Bot from Disney is a stunning of example of a next-generation digital experience for movie fans. Developed by Imperson, a conversational AI startup from Disney’s 2015 accelerator class, the Zootopia bot engaged fans one-on-one with a mystery and detective game based on details from the film.

On average, users spent nearly 10 minutes solving crimes with Judy. Many repeated the game several times do try all the different mysteries and outcomes. Although the Zootopia bot was only available for 16 days, she exchanged millions of messages by the end of the period because an overwhelming majority of users shared their positive experiences and inspired others to try.

zootopia bot

Erez Baum, CEO and Co-Founder of Imperson, explains why Judy Hopps was so successful: “We started by taking a deep dive into character development to infuse the virtual character with authentic personality. We then integrated our natural language processing (NLP) capabilities and deep context understanding, which allowed the bot to respond to a wide range of user input. The final layer added was our relationship management, which gave the bot the ability to recall user information, activity, and preferences from past conversations to personalize each interaction.”

Just having a conversationally adaptive and personalized bot does not guarantee success. Baum also attributes Judy Hopp’s popularity to the global awareness brought by the blockbuster Zootopia movie which grossed over $1 billion globally in the first three months. By extending details and characters from the movie, the bot kept fans within the context of the Zootopia world.

Another huge feature that boosted Judy Hopp’s virality was thoughtfully designed social sharing incentives. When a user successfully solves a mystery with Officer Hopps, she gives them customized Zootopia Police Department badges emblazoned with their names. Fans shared their hard-earned badges across social media, leading to a considerable viral effect.


zootopia bot

Judy Hopps awards users with a ZPD badge if they successfully solve any of her four crime mysteries.


Before Judy Hopps, Imperson had already launched four other conversational and contextual chatbots, including a Miss Piggy bot and a Doc Brown bot from Universal’s Back To The Future. Baum is confident that conversational bots are the future of digital engagement. “After witnessing how passionate fans were about the Judy Hopps experience, our conclusion is that an interactive, one-on-one touchpoint with each customer will soon become the preferred and most effective medium for engaging.”

You can stay updated with movie news on the Zootopia Facebook Page. If you’re curious about Imperson, the conversational AI that powered the Zootopia bot, you can learn more on their website.

Did you solve any mysteries with Judy Hopp while the Zootopia bot was live? Share your experiences and thoughts with us in the comments below!