CHATTANOOGA, TN: Stuck in quarantine and feeling lonely? MoonPie has created a friend for you to chat with, sort of.
The marshmallow sandwich snack launched an Alexa skill this week called the MoonPie MoonMate, which can be awoken by telling Alexa very straightforwardly, “launch MoonPie MoonMate.”
Patrick Tice, creative director at MoonPie agency partner The Tombras Group, said the skill has been in the works for the past four weeks.
You’re never alone when you’re alone with MoonPie MoonMate pic.twitter.com/nGf88wszql— MoonPie MoonMate (@MoonPie) May 5, 2020
“At first we wanted it to leave lights on and control your home like a regular roommate would,” he said. “But then we latched on to the idea of using the MoonPie brand voice; this is an extension of that.”
Tice explained that the MoonMate was designed to carry on a conversation with people “like a regular roommate would.”
So expect the MoonMate to compliment attire and answer math problems and questions about the weather, as well as some topics spelled out in this tweet.
Here are some things I know how to talk about but I’m also open to suggestions I guess pic.twitter.com/Dsjm4vhhw3— MoonPie MoonMate (@MoonPie) May 6, 2020
Fun fact: MoonMate can also tell you the story of its life.
“It’s life story is that it was coded into existence, it really loves your shirt, it is envious of humanity’s free will but terrified of going outside,” said Tice. “We want to give people something to do while they are inside.”
Several hundred people have used the skill since its launch on Tuesday, said Tice. He could not share further results. Budget information was not disclosed.
MoonPie started working on the skill after a short break from social media from March 12-26. The brand’s tone is far from serious or somber and focuses on “having fun and using humor,” said Tice. The social media team took it day-by-day, keeping an eye on the climate.
“In that time, we started thinking about how we could use [the brand voice] to brighten people’s day,” he said. “After a couple weeks, we got the sense people were seeing a lot of the same messaging over and over on social media. It felt like there was room for a little bit of levity.”
MoonPie rejoined the conversation. Tice noted that the brand wants to acknowledge what’s going on but stay true to its brand.
“Being isolated and social distancing is pretty hard,” he said. “I talked to [Jeff Benjamin, Tombras’ chief creative officer] about how great it would be to bring the voice of MoonPie into people’s homes right now. We wanted to make sure we were being sensitive and didn’t take our voice and do something people wouldn’t appreciate.”