Donald Trump’s positions change so often that the simple task of asking, “Wait, did he really say that?” can be exhausting. Agency SS+K and messaging bot platform Dexter have brought his most hurtful, damaging, and hate-filled messages into one place with BFF Trump—the only Facebook Messenger bot that gives you a one-on-one conversation with the biggest mouth in the election year.
Trump is everywhere—on the news, on buildings, even on sidewalks. But his words aren’t making it through to younger voters who could drive this election—and who would likely be horrified by what he says. But the top news source for millennials is Facebook, and they’re spending more time in messaging apps than anywhere else, online or offline. Facebook engagement algorithms can skew the kinds of content millennials are receiving, which made us realize: Trump, the real Trump, was missing from in the newsfeeds of the politically disengaged. The answer was to bring actual Trump quotes to Facebook Messenger.
To build BFF Trump, New York creative agency, SS+K, partnered with Dexter, a startup from Betaworks, a New York internet startup studio. Dexter is a platform that builds and powers a conversational engine—a bot—for a brand, service or institution.
BFF Trump works on Facebook’s desktop or mobile messenger platform, and guides users through a series of conversations about Trump’s views on women, immigration, and so on. With plenty of existing content from Trump speeches and interviews, SS+K was able to use Dexter’s simple bot building tools to get a prototype out quickly. The bot uses hundred of Trump quotes, and growing.
While most bots are utilitarian by nature, providing travel arrangements or weather forecasts, BFF Trump is designed to provoke people into action. And while most bots lack personality, BFF Trump has personality to spare—a narcissistic personality with no impulse control and horrifying attitudes. The BFF Trump project is a chance for young voters to listen to and reject Trump’s messages—before a real President Trump makes those messages unavoidable.
DESIGNER: Caroline O’Toole
HEAD OF CREATIVE SERVICES: James Cooper
DESIGN DIRECTOR: Jesse Raker
SENIOR PRODUCER: Craig von Wiederhold, Chris Berger
HEAD OF PRODUCTION: Brendan Bilko
DIGITAL STRATEGY: Kevin Skobac
RESEARCHER : Paul Malloy
DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL PRODUCTION: John Swartz
SENIOR STRATEGIST: Claudia Cukrov