McCann Romania and Kandia’s Rom candy bar launched together a crowd-sourced chatbot which gathered millions of lines of input from Romanians in its aim to be an unofficial ambassador for the nation.
The RomBot , a complex algorithm using machine learning, was created by a diverse team of developers, designers and data analysts over the course of 6 months. It took months for Romanians to feed the bot with information, providing it over 1.5M answers since the data gathering phase was launched on December 1st, the National Day of Romania.
The bot was developed by McCann Worldgroup Bucharest and can be found on www.ROMBOT.ro – it can field questions ranging from Romanian hackers, to Transylvanian vampires, and even touches on certain notoriously nasty tennis champions.
The brand behind ROMBOT is ROM chocolate, which stands for national pride. The chocolate bar comes wrapped in the national flag of Romania, which was once ditched for the American flag as part of a controversial campaign that ended up causing huge public outcry. The campaign was a multiple Grand Prix winner at Cannes Lions and Eurobest.
Other notable campaigns include Romanians Are Smart, where the brand hijacked Google’s Autocomplete feature to attempt to change Romania’s image abroad, and Bucharest not Budapest, which aimed to end the confusion between the two neighboring capitals.
ROMBOT is also travelling the world, having already been presented at international tourism fairs such as BIT Milan. Moreover, it has gotten the attention of Romanian authorities, who have shown interest in integrating the tool into their own promotion efforts.
Ioana Filip, ECD MRM//McCann Romania:
The machine doesn’t just learn through algorithms, but through input from real people. ROMBOT looks and acts like a bot, but the information behind it is way more complex. Everything the bot received was stored and analysed, and the top responses were collated to ultimately inform ROMBOT’s conversational stream.
Catalin Dobre, CCO for McCann Worldgroup Romania:
Earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of Romanians went out on the streets to make a stand against corruption, in the biggest protests after the Revolution. People feel misrepresented and they are prepared to take back control. We created ROMBOT as a tool to help Romanians take ownership of their reputation.
Gabriela Munteanu, CMO for Kandia Romania:
As a Romanian national symbol, we are really proud of our long history in celebrating our nationality and country. ROM stands for national pride, and through this lens we’re happy to offer a tool that lets people express theirs.
ROM and McCann Worldgroup Romania have enjoyed a successful partnership that spans more than a decade, having created a series of landmark campaigns that have helped raise brand awareness and increase sales, while also winning multiple awards, including Cannes Lions, Eurobest, D&AD The One Show and The Effies.