New MoonPie MoonMate Alexa Skill Makes a Snack Cake Your Virtual Roommate
MoonPie has launched an Amazon Alexa skill making the pastry brand your roommate. The MoonPie MoonMate skill adds to the expanding world of brand-based voice apps used for creative marketing as companies experiment with using voice assistants to connect to customers.
You’re never alone when you’re alone with MoonPie MoonMate pic.twitter.com/nGf88wszql
— MoonPie MoonMate (@MoonPie) May 5, 2020
Though MoonPie sells snack cakes, the company has become known for its fun, if slightly surreal, sense of humor on Twitter and other social media platforms. MoonPie MoonMate extends that to voice. The virtual roommate includes a full database of MoonPie recipes and factual information about the brand along with a lot of jokes, philosophical comments, and slightly off-kilter compliments. The voice app can also access Alexa’s base skills to answer straightforward questions about the weather and similar subjects. According to the company, part of the point of the MoonMate is to make it easier to stay inside during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know how hard being stuck inside and distant from loved ones has been for everyone,” MoonPie vice president of sales and marketing Tory Johnston said in a statement. “Our goal for MoonMate was to create conversations with a sense of empathy and understanding, all while staying true to the brand.”
MoonPie is the latest of the brand-based voice apps, but the idea of making a literal voice for a brand is gaining popularity as more people use voice assistants on mobile devices and through smart speakers at home. The Nutella Creations voice app for Alexa and Google Assistant, for example, provides recipes and guides for using Nutella along with games for children as a way of promoting the hazelnut spread. Nutella’s voice apps were built in a partnership with voice app creation agency Skilled Creative, who have been increasingly busy as more companies test the voice app waters.
MoonPie claims that the idea for the MoonMate skill grew out of a Mayo Clinic study on how laughter is good for the immune system, reduces pain, and improves mental wellbeing. The company worked with fellow Tennessean agency Tombras to design and build MoonPie MoonMate. Tombras is also the agency behind MoonPie’s Twitter and its distinctive approach to social media and sees voice as the wave of the future for consumer brands that want to draw more attention.
“Covid-19 has been a time machine for culture – letting it catch up to where technology got to first,” Tombras chief creative officer Jeff Benjamin, said. “MoonMate hints at the future of conversational content and commerce where a brand’s AI and voice are its soul.”