Foxtel launches 'The Wentworth Rat' chatbot on Facebook via On Message and Mindshare

The Wentworth Rat image.jpgFans of hit Foxtel drama Wentworth have a new character to follow during season five. In an Australian broadcast first, an interactive Facebook Messenger chatbot has been created to smuggle out gossip and exclusive content for fans, developed by social messaging agency On Message (sister agency of The Works) in partnership with Foxtel's media agency Mindshare.

'The Wentworth Rat' is a virtual inmate locked up behind the famous Wentworth bars who is ready to dish the dirt on some of the show's favourite characters and storylines.

The Rat interacts with fans via Messenger, asking them questions and revealing exclusive content including videos, GIFS and audio, as well as giving teasers about upcoming storylines.

Now in its fifth season, the AACTA and TV Week Logie Award-winning drama follows the inmates and staff of the Wentworth Correctional Centre. The current season airs on Foxtel's Showcase on Tuesday's at 8.30pm.

Says Douglas Nicol, founder, On Message: "Wentworth fans are incredible and love the show, and this clearly shows in the amazing level of social media engagement it achieves. The addition of The Wentworth Rat takes that engagement to a new level. It's a very personal, very conversational way for a TV show to reach its fan base and extract maximum enjoyment for viewers in what is a first for Australian broadcast TV."

Says Jack Smyth, innovation director, Mindshare: "We're continually finding new ways to draw subscribers deeper into Foxtel's key titles. As platforms like Messenger mature there are new opportunities to capture and keep a fan's attention. We're looking forward to building on the success of The Wentworth Rat in future campaigns."

Says Gina McGrath, head of marketing - entertainment, Foxtel: "We are thrilled with the reaction our Wentworth community has had with The Rat. This activation was the perfect match for our content and our very loyal and engaged fans, who are always wanting more. The Wentworth Rat has been a great extension to our digital and social strategy for this campaign and we are delighted with the results."


AM said:

How is this conversational when I need to press buttons to formulate a response?

Also, upon signing up, I get told I will receive content in a few days time.

The whole point of chatbots and messenger platforms in general is to have instant, ongoing responses.

Confused of Macleay Street said:

Oh, I thought it was a blog about Malcolm Turnbull.

PM said:

Agree with AM. Thumbs up on all your points.

Jack said:

Hi AM/PM, you can ask The Rat anything at any time. Replies are typically instant with major content naturally tied to release of each new episode. Messaging is more than "instant, ongoing responses" - it's an opportunity to be useful or entertaining in ways traditional creative can't.

Mack said:

Seems Jack worked on the campaign - or - has been reading briefs for too long. ;-)

Replace "messaging" and "replies" with "popup windows" and it sounds the same.

AM & PM: I seem to remember Hoodlum doing pushes/messages with Fat Cow Motel.

That was 2003.

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