BALTIMORE/NEW YORK: CoverGirl, the make-up brand, has launched what it says is the first influencer marketing campaign involving chatbots and has seen 91% positive sentiment about the initiative so far.

As reported by Advertising Age, fans of CoverGirl use Kik, the teen-focused messaging app, to interact with a chatbot version of Kalani Hilliker, a 16-year-old American TV celebrity.

KalaniBot analyses and then simulates the influencer's conversational style across all her social media accounts and is reported to get smarter as it interacts with fans.

The Amplify, an influencer marketing platform, and chatbot developer Automat, are the two companies that created and developed KalaniBot. Both companies are now subsidiaries of You & Mr Jones, the online portal.

Commenting on the program, David Jones, the former global CEO of Havas and founder of You & Mr Jones, said: "Mobile commerce will be colossal using bots. In 12 months there will be thousands of these."

According to Jones, the campaign has so far delivered 14 times more conversations with the chatbot than with an average post by Kalani Hilliker, 91% positive sentiment, an average of 17 messages per conversation, 48% of conversations leading to coupon delivery, and 51% click-through on coupons delivered.

In addition, the chatbot's detailed analytics delivers feedback on engagement levels, sentiment analysis, response rate and purchase links, among other metrics.

"Bots represent an opportunity for the industry to close the conversion loop by tracking clicks to purchases," said Justin Rezvani, founder and CEO of The Amplify. "This means more transparency and accountability for how well your strategies and content perform," he added.

"CoverGirl believes beauty should be approachable and accessible to all," said Ukonwa Ojo, SVP at CoverGirl. "So we're excited to tap the power of bot technology to have more personal and dynamic conversations and interaction with fellow beauty enthusiasts about trends, how-tos and our diverse portfolio of products."

As CoverGirl explores the possibilities of chatbox marketing, a separate report has forecast that the global chatbot market is expected to be worth $994.5m by 2024.

According to Transparency Market Research, that would represent a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 27.8% from 2016, or close to nine times its value of $113m in 2015.

Data sourced from Advertising Age, Transparency Market Research; additional content by Warc staff