Request a demo
Messenger Customer Showcase

Showtime built the most Shameless TV bot using The Bot Platform

Challenge

For the 8th season of hit US TV series, Shameless, Showtime Networks wanted a Messenger bot that would drive excitement and engagement from premiere to finale and beyond amongst their passionate fan base.

Showtime Networks needed a partner they could rely on. The platform had to scale to millions of messages without fail.

The bot needed to retain and entertain loyal viewers to solidify Shameless as the #1 series on Showtime, and ensure that fans knew that Showtime was the only place to watch season 8.

Showtime Networks needed a partner they could rely on. The platform had to scale to millions of messages without fail.

Solution

Showtime worked with The Bot Platform to develop a pre-season, in-season and post-season phasing strategy for their bot, with each phase aimed at maximizing engagement with their fans by utilizing the full breadth of Messenger functionality and driving attribution to Showtime.

The resulting bot kept fans entertained throughout the season, extended the show’s storylines and drove huge subscriptions to Showtime’s streaming service.

With the season finale having aired, the bot is now continuing to keep fans engaged out of season, alleviate pressure from Showtime’s community managers by having an automated marketing channel and to build excitement for Season 9.

The bot is now [...] alleviating pressure from Showtime’s community managers by having an automated marketing channel.

Approach

Showtime delveloped a three pronged approach: evergreen content, reactive content and episodic content.

For pre-season, the strategy was simple: ensure fans were caught up with the show’s storylines and drive excitement and buzz for the Season 8 premiere. For this phase Showtime developed a range of functionality, from conversational journeys that recapped where the characters left off at the end of Season 7 through to fun quizzes that tested fans knowledge of the show - all while linking fans back to Showtime.com to watch past episodes.

Showtime then ended the season by allowing fans to send in audio messages using the bot, the best of which were compiled into a fan video and played to the cast during a finale party at William H Macy’s house, with the cast reacting to messages and replying to comments from fans.

Sample Functionality

  • A Cook-a-long experience

    A cook-a-long experience that gave fans a step by step guide on how to cook boob pancakes, just like the ones given by the Gallagher family to Kevin in episode 2 of the new season.

  • UGC submissions

    UGC experiences where fans could use the draw feature on Messenger to doodle on an adult coloring book template sent out by the bot.

  • Historic content

    The bot not only works in season, but also post and pre season to. Alleviating pressure from Showtime’s community managers

  • Quizzes, Voting & UGC

    Mid season-quizzes and pick-a-side based on family feuds taking place in the show where viewers were asked to send fan-art based on the Gallagher they sided with.

  • Exclusive content

    Behind-the-scenes directors guides.

  • Episode Recaps

    Recaps of Fiona’s romantic history with Sean, a character who made a surprising re-appearance in Episode 4.

Showtime delveloped a three pronged approach: evergreen content, reactive content and episodic content.

Benefits

By utilizing the full breadth of functionality within Messenger, from quick replies to quizzes and the doodle draw feature to audio messages, Showtime are able to create a suite of experiences that extended the narrative and storyline of each episode using The Bot Platform.

  • 20% CTR

    1 in 5 users clicked to subscribe to Showtime’s streaming service via the bot.

  • Pre, during & post season design

    The architecture of the bot evolved over time, adapting to pre-season, in season and out-of-season fan needs.

  • Episodic experiences

    Weekly episode specific content and experiences give fans reasons to re-engage with the bot and increase organic sharing.

  • Highly engaged users

    More than 25% of users opted in to receive updates.

  • Mass reach

    Over 1 Million messages sent to fans in the first 3 weeks.

  • Featured on the popular page

    Featured in Facebook Messenger’s Discover section.

Showtime are able to create a suite of experiences that extended the narrative and storyline of each episode using The Bot Platform

How they did it

Step 1: Design the first version of the bot

Together with The Bot Platform, Showtime ran a workshop to plan the outline and feature set of the initial bot, as well as the phasing plan for introducing new elements and updates throughout the course of the season.

Step 2: Launch the bot to the world

Once the bot had been built using The Bot Platform and all the initial content was in place, Showtime launched the bot to the world using a breadth of organic and paid promotional tactics.

http://m.me/ShamelessOnShowtime

Step 3: Monitor how people use it

Once fans started communicating with the bot and engaging with the content and experiences, Showtime were able to see how fans were interacting with the bot, which kind of features and functionality were resonating best and how to increase organic sharing from fans to their friends.

Showtime also monitored the most frequently sent messages from fans and identified trends and new topics or themes that they needed to add responses to.

Step 4: Refine the experience and reward the fans

Over time, Showtime were able to refine the entire experience and develop new ways of using Messenger functionality in creative ways to reward the fans, extend the storylines, and even give fans exclusive access to the cast.

Try it out

Try the bot for yourself right here or scan the code using the Messenger app.

Find out how you can engage audiences with The Bot Platform

Facebook Messenger

WaterAid has developed a chatbot to help bring its supporters closer to the people they are helping.

Find out more

Facebook Messenger

Hendrick's launched the world's first sophisticated virtual pet.

Find out more

Facebook Messenger

The number one driver of traffic to Hardwell's owned properties is not what you expect.

Find out more

Messenger Bot

Axwell /\ Ingrosso sold out of merchandise with one simple message.

Find out more