If you could talk to one person, real or fake, dead or alive, who would it be? In the past, this often-quoted hypothetical has been nothing more than that, hypothetical. But now, a company called imperson, hopes to make this impossible question a reality, by bringing characters to life with its advanced, customizable conversation technology.
The tech is meant as a content marketing platform—a way for movies, TV shows, books, celebrities, and more to allow fans to engage with their favorite characters. Because the technology is completely customizable, its uses are boundless. The characters that come to life through imperson depend on who decides to use the technology, and the “personality” of that virtual personality depends on how the users customize the virtual persona.
The technology can simulate contextually deep, one-on-one dialogues between fans and their favorite characters including TV personalities, movie characters, and brand mascots. Founded by a group of technopreneurs, imperson hopes to change the way brands, marketers, producers, and publishers think about storytelling and audience engagement. For marketers, imperson offers a new way to engage with their audiences personally. Brands can use conversation characters on virtually any platform, and it has already seen success in a social media marketing campaign for the movie “Unfriended”. See the trailer for the movie here if you haven’t already:
Through the implementation of imperson’s technology on Facebook, Laura Barns, a key character from the movie, was brought to life on Facebook for tens of thousands of fans to engage with. The technology was so successful that many users thought that Laura Barns was real—a frightening prospect! On average, users engaged 11.5 times with the Laura Barns chatbot, for an average period of 33 hours (from first to last contact).
Here are some screenshots of actual conversations between the Laura Barns virtual persona and users:
Imperson is carving out a role for itself by expanding the definition of content marketing. Marketers who seek to give a voice to their brand characters can do so in a new way. Movie teams can extend their characters beyond the silver screen to continue adventures and connect with the audience directly. The ability to converse with characters is science fiction today; Imperson is making it a reality.