Cannes Lions

Good food for every mood: Philadelphia’s Facebook Messenger Chatbot


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Research told us that Philadelphia used to be seen as “one of the girls”: much more approachable, fun, happy, smiling and human. In other words, a friend. Consumers missed this side of Philadelphia. We needed to find a way to navigate back from “grey old man” to “one of the girls”.

We knew that consumers really liked our recipes when shown them, however, because they currently saw the brand as old-fashioned and cold, they wouldn’t seek out our recipes or visit our website.

Facebook is now clearly established as the most emotive media platform; it’s where our consumers connect with friends and family, and up to 14 times per day. It’s an inclusive digital “coffee morning”.

We knew that chatting, socialising and sharing are central to that coffee morning friendship, these were the ingredients we needed to capture to embed Philly and its recipes back into our consumers' lives.


We targeted as many consumers as possible via their Facebook News Feed with a Messenger-enabled advert. The emoji-based ad, when interacted with, immediately opened a Messenger window with a warm and friendly message from our bot, starting a conversation with the consumer.

We asked consumers to use emojis to tell us how they were feeling; creating an emotional, two-way conversation with our brand, and in the most modern possible way. Philly then suggested recipes for their mood: a quick pasta if you’re in a hurry, an indulgent cake if you've had a bad day etc. We even created responses for when consumers wanted to see what happened if they gave us a silly emoji: feeling like an alien, then we gave an out-of-this-world recipe; devils, cats, footballs etc. all got an appropriate recipe response. We threw in “how-to” animations to help consumers make the recipes, plus funny GIFs.


The campaign was an emotional success!

Our communications reached over 7 million consumers; over 500,000 consumers interacted with us, and over 80,000 people completed the recipe journey to fit their mood by chatting with our bot.

Consumers left us comments like: “Thank you lots – I love it!” and “So delicious! Thank you Philly!” And while we weren’t looking for, or asking for “Likes”, we had over 12,000 and are still counting.

Not only did people enjoy chatting with our bot, we also achieved outstanding brand results.

- Our communications really cut-through to our audience: advertising recall among women 25-44 rose from just 6% to 33%!

- Brand favourability among that group rose by 14 percentage points.

- And those who consider Philadelphia a modern brand rose from 32% to 48%, that’s an increase of 50%.

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2020, NESTLE

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