Charmin BRB Bot

Yifei Chai, Horton

Charmin: BRB Bot

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‘I’m happy this thing works, but doesn’t it mean I was useless in that meeting?’

Yifei Chai, Creative Director, UNIT9

The background

Doing everything virtually is our new normal: working, socializing, and dating all happen online. Charmin knows that nature calls at inopportune times and wanted to help people avoid embarrassing moments on video calls. So we harnessed emerging technology and found a clever way to let you conduct your own business during a business call.

Charmin BRB Bot
Charmin BRB Bot
Charmin BRB Bot
Charmin BRB Bot

The execution

We worked with the Charmin GoLab to create BRB Bot, a new technology that creates a digital doppelganger to seamlessly take your place on a video call when you need a bathroom break.

The BRB Bot prototype works with popular conferencing software like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Skype. Before joining a video call, it walks you through recording a range of human actions, like laughing, concentrating, rolling your eyes, taking notes, and fiddling with your earbuds. BRB Bot records these reactions via your computer’s virtual hardware. Then, if you need to step away, you can change your video conferencing settings to read from your computer’s virtual hardware, and ta-da: your virtual doppelganger takes over. The experience is so seamless, no one will realize you slipped away for a moment.

BRB Bot intercepts the audio from the call using AI, transcribes it in real-time using IBM Watson Speech to Text, and analyzes the conversation. It searches for keywords, determines the mood of the conversation, and plays an appropriate pre-recorded video clip of you. The BRB Bot looks and sounds incredibly believable. In beta testing, plenty of people had no idea they were momentarily video chatting with a bot! Talk about true innovation.

Charmin BRB Bot

We have a history of innovating with Charmin, and we were thrilled to take on another challenge with them. This is what our team does best: identifying a common, relatable problem and solving it with technology. In this case, that was delivering a better bathroom experience.

Charmin BRB Bot
Charmin BRB Bot
Charmin BRB Bot
Charmin BRB Bot

The results

We knew we’d found a solution for a universally relatable problem, but we weren’t prepared for how well-received the BRB Bot would be. It instantly went viral, was the talk of Twitter, and was covered by countless major tech, business, news, and humor media outlet. The impressions are well into the millions and almost too difficult to count.

Charmin BRB Bot

Credits

Awards