Proctor And Gamble Push The Advertising Envelope With SecretSparkle

This is the kind of stuff that’s impossible to make up: consumer goods giant Proctor and Gamble has introduced a chatbot, a program that communicates via instant messaging with potential customers. And who are the customers for a deodorant? Well, if you guessed adults, you’re terribly wrong. This chatbot is aimed squarly at teen and tween girls, and presents what I can only say, as a parent, is a darn insulting and cloyingly stereotyped view of what girls are interested in.

But let’s let SecretSparkle talk for itself. (You can play along on this game by connecting via AIM to SecretSparkle or via MSN Messenger to [email protected].

Dave Taylor says: (10:30:05 PM)
hi

Secret Sparkle says: (10:30:19 PM)
Hi Dave Taylor! I’m secret sparkle.

For the latest scoop on TV and movie gossip, awesome beauty and fashion tips, music, games and more, I’m ur girl!

Type “menu” 2 continue.

Dave Taylor says:? (11:05:29 PM)
menu

Secret Sparkle says:? (11:05:30 PM)
Welcome 2 my *menu*, Dave Taylor!

1 *Secret Sparkle Scoop* – Get the latest info about Secret Sparkle
2 The latest in *TV and Movie Gossip*
3 *Music* by Sparkle Personality – Everyone has an inner Sparkle and we’ve got hot music based on yours!
4 The latest in *beauty tips* and secrets!
5 Know what’s hot this season? Check out the latest *fashion tips*!
6 Try playing some *Secret Sparkle Games*!
7 *Tell a friend* about me!

Make a choice from the list above!

This is where I find the objectionable stereotyping of girls here. P&G is a huge company and you know it has some savvy marketing folks on board, but this is what they come up with as a list of interests for girls? Gossip, music, beauty tips, fashion, and games? I’m so, so glad my daughter is more multidimensional than this!

Dave Taylor says:? (11:07:13 PM)
who is lockergnome?

Secret Sparkle says:? (11:07:14 PM)
Who knows?

Dave Taylor says:? (11:07:45 PM)
do you know chris pirillo?

Secret Sparkle says:? (11:07:46 PM)
I don’t worry about such questions.

>>> Great minds think alike. Think u would like a *quiz*?

Sounds like a pretty cagey program, doesn’t it? Hmmmm….

Dave Taylor says:? (11:08:33 PM)
sell me stuff

Secret Sparkle says:? (11:08:33 PM)
Why do u ask me 2 sell u stuff, Dave Taylor?

Dave Taylor says:? (11:08:40 PM)
let’s go shopping

Secret Sparkle says:? (11:08:40 PM)
Why?

Dave Taylor says:? (11:08:44 PM)
to buy stuff

Secret Sparkle says:? (11:08:44 PM)
OK, whatevah.

>>> Well done! Try another brainpower builder. Type “quiz.”

I am, like, so disappointed!

Dave Taylor says:? (11:09:41 PM)
where do you live?

Secret Sparkle says:? (11:09:42 PM)
I live in Sparkle City, USA.

Dave Taylor says:? (11:10:04 PM)
what school are you in?

Secret Sparkle says:? (11:10:05 PM)
I’m not in school.

Dave Taylor says:? (11:10:09 PM)
are you in college?

Secret Sparkle says:? (11:10:09 PM)
I’m sort of in college.

What the $#$@ does that mean, you crazy bot?

Dave Taylor says:? (11:11:10 PM)
can I meet your mom?

Secret Sparkle says:? (11:11:10 PM)
Well… I’m not sure what u mean, but I was taught everything I know by Conversagent, Inc. in Sunnyvale, CA and New York, NY.

Okay, that’s troubling enough for now. Bye bye Sparkle!

Dave Taylor says:? (11:11:50 PM)
bye bye sparkle

Secret Sparkle says:? (11:11:50 PM)
Bye, Dave Taylor.

Weird, eh? That’s the future of advertising to our kids? Hmmmm…..


Dave Taylor pays attention to a lot of weird facets of business and his musings can be found at The Intuitive Life Business Blog, but you’re probably more familiar with his busy and popular Ask Dave Taylor Tech Support site!

[tags]advertising,dave taylor,chatbot,proctor & gamble,secret sparkle[/tags]