Sydney Opera House makes a splash with seal chatbot campaign via The Works + On Message

Sydney Opera House Seal Chatbot pic.jpgThe Sydney Opera House attracts 8.2 million visitors each year - yet despite its popularity, recent market research revealed that one in four Sydneysiders haven't seen a show in the last year. There is a need to challenge misconceptions that the Opera House was only for classical arts, and to increase understanding and awareness to millennials about the diverse and inspiring experiences on offer.

After a competitive pitch late last year, The Works and sister specialist messaging agency On Message, were tasked with getting the word out, and in such a saturated event market they needed to make a real splash.

To chat to the Sydney Opera House seal bot, click here.

The solution was to bring in the big guns - Seal. Nope, not that guy. The lovable Opera House seal, who has swapped his days sunning himself on the northern steps of the Opera House to become the first ever voice of the performing arts centre's new chatbot.

"I had to pass on a few other projects to help out the Opera House, but I'm a big fan of what they do, so of course I dove right in."

The cheeky seal bot chats with Sydneysiders about upcoming gigs, reviews, surprising tales of celebrity encounters and even suggests date night ideas.

Hosted on Facebook Messenger, the chatbot uses a unique conversational platform to engage new audiences in an informal way. With an extensive conversational flow, the bot holds over 100 pieces of tailored content including images, videos and GIFS. It also includes integration with a social amalgamator, enabling users to scroll through live social media footage of the Opera House.

Says Guy Patrick, creative director, The Works Sydney: "To be honest, working with the seal was a little tough at first. He sleeps like 14 hours a day so planning around his schedule was a nightmare. I think becoming the Opera House 'frontseal' got to his head. But we made it through in the end to create a campaign we're all pretty excited about. I think combining the seal's personality with effective and innovative technology creates a far more engaging experience for everyone."

Says Christina Erskine, general manager, marketing, Sydney Opera House: "It's our pleasure to play host to the visits of a wild seal at the Opera House, who's become the unofficial mascot for this campaign.

Screen Shot 2018-05-08 at 8.22.48 am.jpg"With over 3.3m active Facebook Messenger users in Sydney alone, our Opera House seal bot allows us to do something a bit unexpected to reach Sydneysiders, giving them a bit of a laugh while discovering a different side of the Opera House."

As well as the chatbot, the campaign extends to JCDecaux Out of Home and an extensive social media campaign. To celebrate the campaign launch, a giant 8-metre inflatable seal arrived in Sydney Harbour at the Opera House.


Come on... said:

Surely someone has something to say about this, good or bad.

Give us something...

Well... said:

It's no #comeonin

Nibble said:

It's the sealiest thing I've seen.

Ohh maaaannnnnn. said:

Sydney Opera House.

Come on...

Vyvyan said:

I just got served an ad on Facebook for the Sydney Opera House Seal Messenger bot and this is brilliant! Had to come and see who made it. Amazing idea, copywriting and excecution. I tip my hat to you!! 👌

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