The Modern Creative webinar – 30th of November 2021, with ITV’s Head of Creative Vineet Raheja, along with OLIVER’s Director of Business Strategy, Gemma Poesaste, and Global Chief Creative Officer, Rod Sobral.
Much has been said of artificial intelligence (AI) platforms’ intention to make brands’ life easier. Marketing hacks are often bandied about by tech moguls who are often removed from the ground-level execution of creative marketing campaigns. Hence the need for creatives and marketing professionals to really understand the role of AI as part of a brand and a customer’s holistic experience. The challenge, then, is how brands can achieve the speed and automation that they want using AI, while giving customers consistently high creative experiences.
AI tools can and do contribute directly to the user experience, be that in the form of customer service, payment processing or targeted advertisement. But can they be leveraged by creative teams and marketers to really benefit ~ and even elate ~ the customer more deeply?
OLIVER recently posed this question to a panel of creative and AI experts. Here are the out-takes, lessons and musings from The Modern Creative webinar.
There is a new way to unlock creative opportunity using AI technology
Few marketers would deny that AI has and will continue to provide excellent value – especially in trying to make greater gains in efficiency and business agility. Indeed, streamlining what are traditionally frustrating and time-consuming actions has become the norm. For example, in asset management, resource utilisation, research and data analysis, automation has become foundational. In doing so, AI has freed up creative talent to focus on developing the winning ideas that drive a successful campaign.
Gemma Poesaste, OLIVER’s Director of Business Strategy, plays a core role in team structuring and designing the creative process for her clients, and subsequently knows how AI can be applied effectively in campaign optimization. The fundamental ingredients of campaign development remain the same. However, what is new is the multi-channel approach to data streams. Herein lies the potential for AI.
With so many channels, such as TV, social media, email, user-generated content, SEO and so on, marketers are awash with performance data. Furthermore, with the advent of better tech, campaigns can be optimised post-launch in real time – using AI-managed data sets, on AI-managed platforms. Additionally, experience tells us that even with these efficiency gains, teams and creative processes still need specialists to interpret these data sets and assist creatives in understanding where to apply their talents.
Put ideas before the machine
It’s easy for brands to become hyper-focused on efficiency and campaign optimisation, almost to the point they become too rational.
This, again, is fertile ground for creative teams experimenting with AI for faulty assumptions regarding customer behaviour. Following the data can lead marketers assume a target audience will always click the ad and will be confounded when they don’t, despite the campaign being data-led and optimised. Why? They left out the human element of marketing and, subsequently, failed to engage the target audience on an emotional level.
AI cannot give you the creative spark needed for an award-winning advert. Tech-led advertising fails to capture the imagination, even if the campaign is hyper-targeted at the right audience.
Which is why creatively inattentive marketers, too reliant on technology to do the work, leave the door wide open to competitors who put ideas before the machine ~ as noted by Vineet Raheja, Head of Creative at ITV.
Raheja says that his creative talent comes forward with ideas and concepts first, led by strategic insight on how best to engage with customers.
Rod Sobral, OLIVER’s own global creative director, agreed that humans understand humans better than AI. Which is to say that emotional connections are still very much the domain of human talent; the AI can handle the “rational”, the human mind is needed to tell the story.
There’s a way to go before AI becomes a true producer of creativity
ITV’s Planet V has demonstrated AI’s capacity for hyper-personalisation of televisual-based advertising, rather than simply matching households to very broad demographics. While this is an advance in AI-derived creativity, there is still a way to go before it can be a true producer of creativity.
The technologies derived from AI have also been heavily involved in managing customer needs, both in the form of customer service and data collection designed for personalisation. For example, within the beauty industry, AI has been pivotal for brands in how they respond to preference in real time, such as matching the right shade of makeup with a customer’s skin tone and offering recommendations. Moreover, customers are getting access to increasingly better support services, even as far as fully automated, AI-based Zoom calls.
Not every brand can yet provide person-to-person attention, especially for potentially thousands of customers at any given time, so it’s vitally important that these technologies can benefit the customer just as much as the marketer.
Where opportunity really lies is in human talent
We see the benefits and advantages AI can offer brands and marketers alike, as well as for customers. Indeed, even if solely in the realm of efficiency, data processing and resource utilisation, brands’ have benefitted tremendously. Conversely, marketers also need to be wary of putting AI in the driving seat of a campaign. Creative brilliance still lies within the human talent, who will likely always possess the ability to create the emotional resonance and stories needed to build positive brand relations with the customer base.
Moreover, there is a need for careful team structuring when incorporating AI into the creative process. The right people need to be in place at each phase of development – something brands may not know how to do as it relates to marketing. Getting the specialists who possess the knowledge to build and run these AI-supported teams is paramount.
OLIVER’s Five Top Takeaways:
- AI is highly effective in dealing with repetitive, time-consuming and non-creative tasks, thereby enabling marketers to focus on key creative insights.
- AI allows marketers to harness these insights, often with large data sets, to adjust live campaigns in real time.
- The opportunities lie with human talent and the spark of creativity.
- Make sure your brand is building for customers, not for marketers.
- When building marketing teams – with AI in mind – getting the experts to help your brand is comes highly recommended.