(BPT) - Believe it or not, the 103-year-old, Chattanooga, TN-based snack MoonPie just launched a chatty “virtual roommate” (called MoonPie MoonMate) on Amazon Alexa devices that’s designed to do anything to make you stay inside and help with social distancing.
Just say “Alexa, launch MoonPie MoonMate,” and get ready to talk about … well, about a lot of stuff actually. But “what” it can talk about isn’t really the point.
The whole reason for MoonPie’s technological move is based on research from the Mayo Clinic that cites laughter as an immunity and mental health booster. MoonMate is spreading positive (and hilarious, just like its social media presence) vibes in a time of uncertainty for lots of people. But it’s also truly a roommate.
“We know how hard being stuck inside and distant from loved ones has been for everyone,” said Tory Johnston, VP of Sales and Marketing for MoonPie. “Our goal for MoonMate was to create conversations with a sense of empathy and understanding, all while staying true to the brand.”
MoonMate will talk about its favorite band, the dream it had last night, what kind of animal it wants you to adopt, whether or not you’re a good roommate, and its opinion on the shirt you’re wearing today. It’ll even pay you rent in the form of MoonPies; all you have to do is ask.
These conversations can go on for hours on end, largely because MoonMate is adept at leading them. It doesn’t just talk about itself, and it doesn’t simply ask you questions. Part of the reason it feels so real is because it guides you towards topics it knows how to talk about.
“In typical MoonPie fashion, it’s totally bizarre and homegrown,” said Dooley Tombras, President at Knoxville, TN-based Tombras, the advertising agency that created MoonMate. “But it’s a great example of nascent technology getting integrated with everyday life to solve a problem.”
MoonPie MoonMate exists to help you pass the time, not check it. It doesn’t want to play your favorite song, it wants to tell you about the songs it loves. It was created to keep you company and make staying inside just a little more bearable, if not actually enjoyable. MoonMate is MoonPie’s way of creating a very literal “brand voice” for anyone who needs a friend till the end of social distancing.