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Wieden+Kennedy create AI spokesperson for Soylent

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Health food producer Soylent has partnered with Wieden+Kennedy for overall brand development, marketing strategy and product campaigns, with the agency celebrating this new partnership by treating the brand to a genuine first for the category; an AI “spokesbot.” The coyly named “Trish” is a bold new brand platform; a nutrition-obsessed artificially intelligent spokesperson who will come to life across Soylent’s current channels and new virtual store. There, Trish will introduce herself and educate people on how to use a range of products. Trish’s goal is to help make food decisions easier and stress-free, and she will inspire all brand communications, including broadcast, digital, social, and beyond.

As a nod to Soylent’s core community, Trish also opened a Bitcoin-based store, Soy Route, on the Dark Web to give its biggest and most loyal fans first access to the rarest Soylent products. Launch items include a mystery-flavoured Soylent, beef-flavour kit, Soylent pin pack, Soylent Drink multipack, and golden Soylent, signed by Soylent CEO Rob Rhinehart. Trish will continue to update the site with new offerings throughout the year.

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In addition to Trish’s debut across Soylent’s channels and the Dark Web, she will have a presence in Austin at SXSW from March 10 through 14 in various capacities, including a tasting on March 12 hosted by Trish and sampling opportunities throughout the weekend. W+K Lodge, the specialised creative technology group within the agency who created the bespoke bot, will also be active in initiatives for the brand ranging from website and packaging design to media planning and creative direction.

Paulo Ribeiro, Managing Director for W+K Lodge, said: “As a creative company that uses technology to help brands show up in unexpected ways, we love working with Soylent. They move fast to find better, cheaper ways to deliver nutrition, and they make us move fast to find smarter, more interesting ways to build a brand. Experimentation is at the heart of both companies, and it will show up in the work.”

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Soylent CMO, Adam Grablick, who was familiar with W&K, having worked with the agency during his tenure at Kraft, which he left in 2015, added: “Soylent believes in staying on the cutting edge of food technology and nutrition. We were looking for a creative and strategic partner with a thoughtful and innovative approach to complement our goals and objectives. Having worked with Wieden+Kennedy in the past, I knew the team’s fresh perspective and inventive spirit would be a perfect fit.”

Much of Soylent's marketing until now has centred around early adopters with experiential events, sampling, and social marketing. With “Trish,” however, Soylent aims to broaden its appeal through a wider variety of channels. Some film fans may recall the name Soylent from the 1973 science fiction movie “Soylent Green,” in which a food replacement was made out of people. The brand name was reportedly selected based on the 1966 Harry Harrison novel, “Make Room! Make Room!,” on which Soylent Green was based.

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Along with the Lodge, Soylent works with public relations, marketing and communications agency Autumn Communications on in-house communications and publicity, and with entertainment marketing agency Signal Entertainment Marketing on brand integration across film, television and digital content. Allied Integrated Marketing, an entertainment, culture and lifestyle agency, will work with Soylent on the activation at SXSW.

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