Will the creative process change if AI technology is used by ad agencies?

Ad industry experts explain why adopting AI will play a huge role in optimizing ads, but the creatives should still be churned out by humans

by Noel Dsouza
Published - 23-May-2019
AI Main

The right communication is required to reach out to consumers, and AI can help. From tailoring personalised messages, to collecting contextual data on millions of people. An AI system will definitely change the way creatives are thought of and developed.

According to Rahul Marwaha, VP, Media Activation, India, Essence, “Many smart businesses will link their products and services through AI to develop insights and creatives for their brands.”

Going forward campaigns and customer interactions will be made more relevant from planning to creative messaging to media targeting and the retail experience. 

Sumanto Chattopadhyay, Chairman, CCO, 82.5 Communications, spoke to exchange4media about the car brand Lexus and how they created an impactful ad film using AI. “Lexus did a 60-second film that was scripted entirely using AI. It was directed by an 'award-winning human'. As a creative director that has me wondering if I should switch to direction like some of my erstwhile colleagues have”, remarked Chattopadhyay. 

Chattopadhyay thinks that no matter how much AI we use in communication, the best solutions will come from keeping human talent at the core. 

However, the effectiveness that AI has, traditional advertising can only dream of doing. For example where to place an ad on a website and how to integrate it in the content through native advertising can be determined by AI. Chattopadhyay narrated an AI application that he saw on Facebook, “It was a new feature that provides an audio description of any photo on FB. This allows the visually-challenged to "see" the pictures with their ears.”

Marwaha speaking about how his agency Essence will leverage from AI said, “Essence has adopted AI for quite some time now and we believe it will play a huge role as advertising technology gets more advanced. We currently use AI to automate reports and check campaign hygiene.”

The communication is already changing. Talking about how the creative process will have to be revolutionized Vikas Mehta, CEO, Mullen Lintas states, “Chatbots are customizing conversations down to an audience of one. Alexa and Google Assistant are already communicating with people at an individual level. As we move further down the path with machine learning and deep learning, the impact is going to gain further gravity.”

Naren Kaushik, Executive Creative Director, Happy mcgarrybowen says that AI will create a great impact on the delivery mechanism of advertising. But making creatives is a big leap. He said, “When you see the ad, what is mind-boggling is that with data, machine learning, and AI, we can do almost anything. But there are limitations.”

According to Joe Thaliath, CEO, FCB Interface AI is already making the world better for creatives. “From creating art to designing clothes, artificial intelligence has already made its way into the creative fields. From machine learning tools that help find specific video frames faster, to features that colour in entire works of line art with just a button, AI is being incorporated in subtle, but surprisingly impactful ways. Whether AI has the potential to become a true creative partner or even the creator of solo works of art, this debate will likely continue for some time. In advertising, great creative that drives an emotional connection always requires a human spark. What AI can do is free people up to focus on the problems humans are best at”, commented Thaliath. 

Even Mitesh Kothari, Right Brain at White Rivers Media believes AI is already leading more and more advertisers to hone insights and use them with the help of tech to create stories, experiences, etc. for the right audience. “With AI, brands can develop ‘smart ads’ that pinpoint the preferences of consumers and deliver a highly personalized brand experience, in the very first go”, said Kothari. 

Kuldeep Chaudhary, CEO, ADOHM says that the ascent of AI has been met with mixed audits. Many innovation lovers sounded alarmed. An ongoing report by McKinsey anticipated that AI will supplant 75-375 million employment (3-14% of the worldwide workforce) by 2030. Artificial intelligence innovations have had an effect on inventive controls. However, while AI advancements can show some inventive ability, they are unfit to supplant higher-request dimensions of inventiveness. “Concerning crude knowledge, AI is an extraordinary equalizer. Never again do people require an abnormal state quantitative scholarly degree to get to, investigate, and digest gigantic volumes of information in a flash. The upper hand that is generally been attached to high IQ levels has diminished in significance as AI has, and will proceed to, level the scholarly playing field”, remarked Chaudhary.

“Now we have to ask, how will AI spark new ideas and push the boundaries of creativity? And how will that affect the marketing world we work in?” asks Thaliath.

Thaliath ads, “This is precisely where advertising agencies can help their clients, both as trusted advisers and execution partners. In the end, the human really is the one being creative, and it’s more about how you can get better efficiencies. But it’s clear that as digital content and delivery platforms continue infiltrating all forms of media and expression, the role of AI will undoubtedly expand.”

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