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Anonymous Friend

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Teens in Brazil are beginning to drink earlier and in larger quantities. However, although cases of alcoholism have increased among them, asking for help and information seem far away from their world. JWT's objective was to help teens with drinking problems and increase Alcoholics Anonymous’ awareness among them. 

It created the first Facebook chatbot that helps people with alcoholism. Over 20 hours of testimonials from real AA members were collected and turned into data to fill the chatbot. For every question, there is an answer from someone who knows exactly how a person with drinking problems feels, without any judgements. Like at AA meetings, people stayed after reading the stories and identifying themselves in them. From the 12 steps of recovery to general information about the disease, all content was made to direct people to a nearby group, which can be done simply by sharing your location.  

The Anonymous Friend is also able to help an alcoholic in relapse by finding an urgent group and help non-alcoholics with alcoholic friends or relatives by giving tips and ways to approach them. 


Since the main goal was to approach teens, the agency's communication was designed to be mobile friendly, with everything from videos and posts to GIFs belonging to their world. The campaign pieces used AA members’ real stories to create an immediate identification with viewers and by doing this, it was able to facilitate interaction and lose the shame in talking.  


JWT implemented the idea using Facebook Chatbot technology for Messenger. The campaign used AA members' real stories to directly create a bond with viewers, just like it happens in the meetings. 

It took four months to put this idea on the air. First, the agency had to deepen its knowledge about the disease, and then design a huge conversation flow to cover the most important points of the subject. After that, it collected over 20 hours of real AA members' testimonials and turned into data to fill the conversation flow, programmed the bot and created the campaign to encourage people to interact with it. 

The first Anonymous Friend was made for Brazil, but it is making this project open-source since AAs around the World are willing to implement the chatbot in their countries.  


Reach: The Anonymous Friend reached over four million people all over Brazil in its first week of existence. In fact, people used 65% of the group's database to find the closest AA meeting. 

Engagement: In the first week, the page had more than 28,000 likes and over 100,000 conversations in the chatbot. 

Impact: Emails from people looking for help each day increased by 1300% and some major groups registered a 20% increase in their meeting attendance.  

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Alcoholics Anonymous
March - June 2017
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