Robots! They dominated the start of the year’s Consumer Electronic Show (CES). Building off (and onto) the amazing success of Amazon’s Echo, there was a flood of technologies, devices, and services that saw robots at every corner of the huge conference.

And as we roll into launch season for a lot of these products, we thought we’d apply a little advertising filter onto how to think about these very new, and to some, very intimidating technologies. Starting with a quote from last week’s Why great work works:

Great advertising is beautiful. And human. It contains original artwork, music, writing, and film. The more automated our lives and jobs become with technology and AI, the more we seek out beauty, art, and real human experiences. (In summary: Sorry, Alexa. It’s not you. It’s us. Actually, it is you.)

So, if great advertising—and great brand experiences—are beautiful and human…
…and there is a giant push to automate (or, if you will, robautomate) our world…
…then “great” robots would be human…or at least digitally human.

With that said, and at the great risk of triggering a technological singularity, here are some of humanity’s best present-day attempts to create the most human robot:

Christopher Bot.

The homework bot for your kid.

Apple got us all saying: “There’s an app for that.” Well, get ready for: “There’s a bot for that.” This one has a name. Talks like a cheeky teen (like the 14-year-old behind it). And is helpful. Those are all good things that seem pretty human…and relatable.


A therapist bot.

Sure, this feels a little like a future episode of Black Mirror, but again, Pogor acts quite human…for a bright red slug-bot. And it reduces certain barriers to help people get on the path to bettering their lives by incorporating many of the ideas behind Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.


A virtual employee that schedules meetings.

Clara acts very human. She (or, okay, it) has an email address and interacts very naturally. And because it doesn’t try too hard, it delivers realistic value in a pleasantly human way. Just like a true BFF (Bot Friend Forever).

And as AI becomes a bigger and bigger part of our daily lives—and more and more human—advertising must do an even better job of being less, well, robotic.

Have a great, robot-enhanced weekend, everyone!

Your humanly-digital friends at Brokaw.