The Advent of Artificial Intelligence in Advertising

How Can Agencies Like Our Own Harness the Creative Power of Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Artificial intelligence, or AI, has been one of the most exciting and provocative technological developments of the last decade. It has come a long way since the days of Siri and Alexa. From retail to healthcare, nearly every industry has been impacted by AI, including advertising.

Indeed, one of AI’s early applications was in the dawn of social media marketing, though its role was limited to targeted media and data analysis. As more powerful AI technologies emerge, it is beginning to play a more significant role in the creative process itself. In this blog, we’ll take a look at how emerging AI technologies are being used by advertising agencies, and how they might improve the efficiency and effectiveness of today’s ad campaigns.

AI language platforms are enabling agencies to create more engaging advertising, with specific messaging that resonates most with their target audience. For example, an agency can upload the messaging brief for an ad campaign into an AI platform, such as Anyword, and receive a series of messaging suggestions that can be adjusted by tone and target audience. One example of a company using these types of programmatic copy generation tools is Weiden + Kennedy, who have produced a series of targeted campaigns for clients such as Nike and Coca-Cola.

Anyword is just one example of how artificial intelligence is helping advertising agencies become more creative. With access to multiple messaging platforms and direct machine learning capabilities, these tools can enable creative teams to produce even more targeted content and boost ROI on their campaigns. In addition, AI is making it easier for campaigns to be timed perfectly and appear when people are most likely to engage with them. According to Google, artificial intelligence can increase conversion rates by a massive 38% by improving website load times.

AI image generation is now also aiding designers in their creative process, with software such as Dall-e producing high quality images based on prompts. Designers can specify certain variables and requirements for the final product, from colour palette to mood and textures to scenes. Designers can simply ask for a “cityscape at night”, for example, and Dall-e will produce a series of images in quick succession until the designer finds one they like. It then gives them the option to export an edited version of this or use it as inspiration.

The software produces these images using algorithms that learn from millions of examples on the internet, as well as any information given by the designer. The AI generates a sequence of different combinations before it decides on an outcome, meaning it can churn out thousands of original images much more quickly than would be possible if done manually. These technologies, however, cannot create an entirely new idea, so it still requires a creative mind to produce a truly creative response to a brief.

Powerful as they are, AI technologies such as these are by no means replacing our jobs. For now that is… However, they can and are helping agencies improve the efficiency and creativity of their work, generating references and producing creative mockups to respond to briefs, as well as refining campaign messaging and final executions. Although it is currently relatively easy to spot when AI is being used, as these technologies evolve, so will their potential application; it is important to not get left behind.

Take this blog for example, apart from this paragraph, every word and image has been generated using AI. I provided the topic, AI then generated a title with potential themes to cover. With carefully considered prompts and inputs from myself, I was able to discover insights and drive at the core idea of the blog. The outcome is fascinating and further suggests to me that as creatives we must embrace new technology in our workflows and adapt to help brands and campaigns succeed.

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