Generative AI in advertising: A view from Campaign's Breakfast Briefing

Alex Blaikley, Media Director,

The zeitgeist of AI is a good description of the current state of advertising. For those who were lucky enough to go, Cannes' buzz was all about AI.

This week, I was thrilled to be invited along to Campaign's breakfast briefing focused on generative AI in advertising - a well-balanced and useful session, neatly avoiding the hyperbole.

Saying that, the sentiment is that AI is the 3rd big shift in the digital age, behind the internet itself and the rise of mobile as the primary source of reaching consumers.

Every brand will have to outline its validation points in relation to AI, such as TOV and brand guidelines. At the highest level, I suspect organisations will see AI in 2 ways, to reduce marketing costs or to enhance marketing operations and effectiveness. How and what is embraced will ultimately be determined by this dichotomy.

The keynote presentation rather helpfully split AI into 3 functions:

  1. Automation – technology that reduces human intervention (dynamic ads, reporting or dynamic web content).
  2. Generative AI – generation of original content from existing data, in response to prompts (image, text, sound or video).
  3. Predictive AI – predicting and anticipating future needs or events from data analysis (purchase, returns, recurrence or value).

The role of an agency partner will be to guide our clients through both the opportunities and risks that AI will present.

A responsible and transparent partner will acknowledge where they have used AI, which tools they used, and importantly to satisfy legal teams, the prompts used, verbatim. More than ever, agencies need to encourage clients to embrace experimentation – an area where AI will play a significant role. One thing the panel agreed on was that personalisation in creative is the biggest AI opportunity for performance marketing. 

The potential applications of AI in marketing help understand and provide a utility for NFTs and VR – the Zeitgeist of 2021 and 2022, respectively. It also widens the digital maturity gaps across the industry. 

A colleague of mine says that creativity and creative are the last bastion of true competitive advantage in marketing, which may well be truer over the next 3 years than at any time before.

The listing image used to accompany this piece was generated using Stable Diffusion AI.

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