February 27, 2024

The advertising industry has a love-hate relationship with artificial intelligence.

Over the past few months, the technology has made it easier to generate and track ads. It’s writing marketing emails with subject lines and delivery times tailored to specific gave Optician How to shoot fashion shoots on alien planets and help Denmark Tourist Board Inject vitality into famous tourist attractions.heinz used it to generate A recognizable image of a ketchup bottleand paired them with the symphonic theme depicting human evolution from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.

However, AI is also throwing the marketing world into crisis. Much research has been done on the technology’s potential to limit the need for human workers in areas such as legal and financial services. Marketing executives say the advertising industry, already beset by inflation and other economic pressures as well as a brain drain from layoffs and increased automation, is particularly at risk of an artificial intelligence overhaul.

Such conflicting attitudes pervaded a co-working space in downtown San Francisco where more than 200 people gathered last week for an “AI for Marketers” event. Copywriters express concern and skepticism about chatbots capable of writing ad campaigns, while startup founders market artificial intelligence tools for automating the creative process.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re scared: the tools are here, so what do we do?” Jackson Beaman’s AI Users Group organized the event. “We can stand here and do nothing, or we can learn how to apply them.”

Machine learning, a subset of artificial intelligence that uses data and algorithms to mimic the way humans learn, has quietly powered advertising for years. Madison Avenue has used it to target specific audiences, sell and buy ad space, provide user support, create a logo, and streamline its operations. (One advertising company has a specialized AI tool called Big Lebotsky Help clients write ad copy and improve their search engine image).

Enthusiasm gradually came. When advertising group Publicis launched its AI-powered business assistant Marcel in 2017, the reaction from its peers was “angry, joking and negative”.

At last month’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the glittering pinnacle of the advertising calendar, Publicis had its “I told you so” moment.During the festival, the agenda was filled with panel discussions about AI “unleashing” and impacting the “future of creativity,” the company hyped artificially generated poster This mocked Marcel’s initial reaction.

“Can artificial intelligence be discussed in Cannes now?” the ad joked.

The answer is clear. Since OpenAI released the ChatGPT chatbot late last year and sparked a global arms race around generative artificial intelligence, the industry has been reluctant to discuss other issues.

McDonald’s asked a chatbot to name the most iconic burger in the world and sprinkled the answer — a Big Mac — all over the place. video and billboards, pictures AI-generated rebuttals From a fast food competitor.Coca-Cola Recruits Digital Artists Generate 120,000 riffs Using an AI platform built in part by OpenAI to showcase its brand identity, including a curved bottle and swoopy logo.

The proliferation of AI experiments presents a host of legal and logistical challenges, including the need to protect reputations and avoid misleading consumers.

A recent Virgin Voyages campaign allowed users to prompt Jennifer Lopez’s digital avatar release Custom Video Invitation Cruise ships, including the names of potential guests. But to prevent Ms. Lopez from using inappropriate language, the avatar can only speak names from a pre-approved list, otherwise defaulting to terms like “friend” and “sailor.”

“It’s still very early days, and there were a lot of challenges getting the model right, looking right, sounding right, and it required a lot of human involvement along the way,” said Brian Yamada, chief innovation officer at VMLY&R, the agency that produced the campaign for Virgin.

Well-crafted interactive campaigns like Virgin’s make up only a small portion of the ad. Thirty-second video clips and captioned images are more common, often slightly tweaked for different demographics. In recent months, several major tech companies, including Meta, Google and Adobe, have announced artificial intelligence tools to handle such jobs.

Big ad agencies say the technology could simplify bloated business models.Advertising group WPP is teaming up with chipmaker Nvidia to develop an artificial intelligence platform that, for example, could allow car companies to easily Merge footage of vehicles Incorporate scenes customized for local markets without the hassle of shooting different commercials around the world.

For many who work on such ads, advances in artificial intelligence feel like they’re about to become obsolete, especially in the face of several years of slowing growth and ad budgets shifting from TV and other traditional media to programmatic and social platforms. Media agency GroupM predicted last month that AI could affect at least half of advertising revenue by the end of 2023.

“There is no doubt that the futures of creativity and artificial intelligence will become increasingly intertwined,” said Philippe Krakowsky, chief executive of advertising giant Interpublic Group.

IPG began hiring a chief artificial intelligence officer and similar executives years before ChatGPT launched, and now hopes to leverage the technology to deliver a highly personalized experience.

“That said, we need to employ a very high level of diligence and discipline, and work across industries to reduce bias, misinformation and safety risks, to keep the pace of progress going,” Mr Krakowski added.

The ability of artificial intelligence to replicate and deceive has been widely and publicly expressed in the political marketing of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and others, alarming many ad executives. They are also concerned about intellectual property issues and the direction and pace of AI development. Some ad firms have joined groups such as the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity, which wants to trace the provenance of content, and the Partnership on AI, which aims to keep the technology ethically sound.

Amid the gloomy outlook, Wunderman Thompson decided to overhaul artificial intelligence this spring.

At a campaign for Kit Kat candy bars in Australia, the agency used OpenAI’s text and image generators to create purposefully awkward ads with the tagline “AI made this ad so we can take a break.” become oneDistorted characters munch on vague chocolate bars in a mechanically monotonous narration: “They were handed a Kit Kat bar. They took a bite.”

Annabelle Barnum, managing director of Wunderman Thompson Australia, said the campaign would be more difficult now, partly because rapidly improving technology had ironed out many of the flaws that arose a few months ago. Still, she said, humans will always be key to the advertising process.

“Creativity comes from real human insight — AI will always struggle because it relies entirely on data to make decisions,” she said. “So while it can enhance the process, ultimately it can never take away anything that creators can really do because the human element is needed.”

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