ROM sought to find relevance with young people by giving them a powerful reason to reconnect with the chocolate bar through a patriotic campaign to boost national pride along with sales, using ROMBOT, an AI platform designed to give voice to Romanians at international scale, in a true ambassadorship mission.
In 2016, ROM Autentic, the beloved chocolate bar wrapped in the Romanian national flag, was losing share in a crowded market. Aiming for a new and young audience to boost its sales, Rom’s mission was to renew its meaningful connection with them.
Insight #1 - Romanian youngsters are deluded by the current political and social environment, and are using social networks and online platforms heavily for real-life social activism.
Against the backdrop of a society that has lost faith in its politicians, Romanian youth are a powerful counterforce, capable of shifting wrong-doings in high-level politics through online criticism and massive in-street protests.
Insight #2 - Romania has become quickly a rising star in digital in the world.
Many online gaming companies and digital enterprises have found Romania to be the best place in Europe to invest and develop their products, making digital capital a cultural asset and a source of national pride that is generated by the young generation.
Insight #3 – Romanian youth worry about Romania being negatively perceived and misrepresented by the global community and international media.
Using reactive patriotism, the Romanians’ inner mechanism of restoring local truths and values by using outside perspective, ROM sought to find relevance through a patriotic campaign that would boost national pride.
In fact, Romania has the largest population living outside its borders among EU countries, and foreigners are very surprised by the beauty of Romania from chats with locals, or from Romanians working or living abroad.
For the new generation of Romanians who felt misrepresented in the eyes of the world, we created ROMBOT, the first artificial intelligent virtual ambassador created to represent a nation based on the viewpoints of its proud young inhabitants.
ROMBOT, the virtual ambassador of Romania – is an artificially intelligent bot designed to learn directly from Romanians about Romania, with a mission to tell the right story right about the country and help a generation take ownership of their reputation with a renewed sense of pride and optimism.
Quite different from a politician, ROMBOT was totally objective, easy to talk to, and capable of having thousands of conversations at the same time.
We enabled the collective voice of Romania through imprinted messages on Rom chocolate bar’s label. Rom consumers could scan their chocolate bars, designed in special packaging to promote the initiative, or visit the website to talk directly to ROMBOT.
After a teaser campaign on social media and TV, ROMBOT was launched on December 1st – Great Union Day, Romania’s national holiday. This served as the ultimate opportunity to boost Romanian patriotism on the most important Romanian holiday.
We executed our creative idea in two phases.
Phase 1: Gathering Romania’s pride through AI conversations
ROMBOT asked Romanians questions about Romania and people would answer as they would with a regular chat bot: from foods, to traditions, holiday locations, and the traits of Romanian. However, unlike a standard bot, ROMBOT was a true learning machine; every conversation was stored and analysed, turning the data it received into practical knowledge.
ROMBOT then shared real-time information on social media, both the good and bad things Romanians taught it. The chats sparked a national debate regarding Romania’s shared values, rallying people to come together to teach ROMBOT appropriate and factual information so it could best represent the country internationally. The most popular answers to ROMBOT’s questions would then become ROMBOT’s knowledge.
Phase 2: Sharing Romanian pride to the world, through AI conversations in English
After learning and storing knowledge from over 1.5 million answers, data was interpreted and translated into English to be shared in conversations with the world.
Banners targeting the most popular search topics and articles about Romania also promoted ROMBOT and the virtual ambassador even took its show on the road, talking to people about the beauty of Romania at international tourism fairs.
International Business publications such as Forbes wrote about ROMBOT, inviting people to chat with it in order to understand more about Romanians and their beloved country.
As an added bonus, for the first time in ROM’s history, ROM chocolate was distributed abroad in several European cities.
Creative: McCann Erickson Bucharest