Between Disney and City Data, Kiwibot is on a Roll
Mouse House promoting "Ron's Gone Wrong" and "Encanto" on Kiwi's delivery robots.
The primary business of delivery robots is, well, delivery, obviously. But as more of them hit city sidewalks and scurry around all day, delivery robots will also become something else: vehicles for advertisements.
Kiwibot has made a big move into the branded robot space with a new Disney partnership. Kiwibot Co-Founder and CEO, Felipe Chávez Cortés told me during an interview today that Disney is promoting the feature films Ron’s Gone Wrong and Encanto with Kiwibot robots.
“We basically wrap our robots, deliver movie tickets as part of their marketing campaign with Disney,” Chávez Cortés said.
Chávez Cortés wouldn’t provide any financial details about the deal, but the partnership itself with Disney presumably provides a lot of cachet and could be an entrée into getting Kiwibots into Disney resorts (get that churro delivered wherever you are in the park!).
This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about branding on delivery robots, Uber Eats will have some kind of branding on Serve robots when that partnership goes live next year. But it’s interesting to see how advertising is already coming to market when that market is so small and visualize how big it could become as robot delivery grows. In one sense, delivery robots are autonomous billboards that are not only seen by throngs of people on city sidewalks, but they also market directly to consumer as they drop off a burrito (or whatever) to their front door (YMMV on whether that bothers you).
And it’s not just visual advertising, robots allow more interactivity. Because recipients typically need a phone to unlock a delivery robot, brand wrapping could include QR codes for on-the-spot special discounts and promotions.
It’s also not hard to imagine a big company like Disney or Google covering all robot delivery fees in city in exchange for messaging during a meal order and branding on the robot.
The bigger point here is that Kiwibot isn’t huge by any current advertising standard right now, and it still attracted Disney dollars. When robot fleets from Kiwibot and Starship and Coco and Ottnomy and Refraction start getting into the thousands across the country, they will all become more attractive venues for advertisers and generate additional revenues for those robot startups.
Disney isn’t the only thing Kiwibot has shakin’ right now. The company is now providing robot delivery in four different U.S. cities: Miami, Detroit, Pittsburgh and San Jose. Not only is Kiwibot delivering meals in these cities, they are delivery something else — data. And that’s where things get really interesting. (Paid subscribers get the full story.)