We speak to creative leaders about their outlook towards AI in 2024, its impact on creative satisfaction, and expectations ahead.
In 2023 we all witnessed the ascent of Generative AI. With advertisers across categories incorporating some level of Gen AI into their campaigns it was impossible to miss. The widespread adoption of this technology spread like wildfire, as numerous advertisers incorporated features such as voice modulations and geotagging into their campaigns.
Shortly thereafter, CGI Billboards and AI-generated images became standard fare for nearly every other brand on the block. However, in a world caught off guard by this seismic shift, a pertinent question emerged: where did the creativity go? Are we witnessing a fading of the uniquely human imaginative and original thinking that has traditionally defined creative endeavours in advertising?
John Paite, chief creative officer (art & tech), Media.Monks India, emphasises that success hinges on gaining a profound understanding of the capabilities and limitations of AI tools.
"AI tools in advertising are limited in features and production proofing, but their versatility offers diverse applications. The key mistake is replicating past campaigns without significant change."John Paite, chief creative officer (art & tech), Media.Monks India
He advocates for the crafting of strategies that leverage technology as a potent aid, combining it with creative ideas to set oneself apart from the crowd. “AI tools in advertising are limited in features and production proofing, but their versatility offers diverse applications. The key mistake is replicating past campaigns without significant change,” he says.
Industry leaders emphasise that, while the quest for creativity remains a priority in campaigns, a substantial portion of marketers are leveraging AI to augment customer experience and services. Simultaneously, a significant chunk of AI finds application in the day-to-day execution of campaigns.
AI and marketing in 2024
In 2024, industry leaders anticipate a more mature, mainstream, and widespread integration of AI in marketing strategies.
“Looking at it (AI) from a narrow lens of just creativity rather than the impact that it has would be a big mistake."Saurabh Varma, founder and CEO, Wondrlab
Saurabh Varma, founder and CEO, Wondrlab feels the focus of AI driven campaigns won’t be centred around creativity but rather its impact. He states, “Looking at it from a narrow lens of just creativity rather than the impact that it has would be a big mistake. So, I think we have to look at the impact it creates rather than four or five pieces of big creative work.”
Varma feels that personalisation and customisation, particularly through the utilisation of the latest data point will become key in 2024.
Mukund Olety, group chief creative officer of VMLY&R, India, notes that beyond addressing routine tasks, , AI is starting to make a deeper impact on both production processes and customer experience.
“It is still a long way away from ideation but is proving to be a great tool for execution. It’s great to see many agencies whole-heartedly embracing AI,” he says.
Giving an example of one of VMLY&R’s earlier Gen AI campaigns, Young Sachin, Olety says, “Two years ago, when we created Young Sachin, the tools were still evolving and getting the right look was a task. Today, you could achieve the output in a matter of days.”
“This is just the beginning of AI. We have barely scratched the surface,” he adds.
Paite of Media.Monks India maintains that the widespread approach to using AI is not expected to undergo substantial changes. He suggests that the focus for the year should revolve around deepening the comprehension of AI, moving beyond just prompt-based applications.
In an ideal scenario, Paite expresses his desire for a shift in focus towards simplifying the training of AI with specific data sets. This, he believes, could lead to the development of more unique and exclusive AI tools tailored for individual campaigns.
Paite sees significant potential for growth in AI's role in advertising, anticipating its expansion beyond generative workflows to actively boosting brand performance. He points to the increasing accessibility of data analytics tools among the public and the evolving utility of AI, particularly in back-end operations, as key factors set to play a pivotal role in achieving the desired growth trajectories for brands.
“As understanding of AI deepens among brands, its scalability and strategic importance in early planning are being more recognized and leveraged,” Patie adds.
According to Josy Paul, chairman and CCO, BBDO India, the continued utilisation of AI is poised to unlock additional potential and fundamentally reshape creative processes.
"It will question and change the creative process."Josy Paul, chairman and CCO, BBDO India
“AI is omnipresent and will rearrange our thinking and discovery process, and shape our artistic and creative expression. It will question and change the creative process. In a way it will force us to be born again."
AI will continue to make everything possible in 2024. It all depends on our openness, empathy and elasticity of imagination,” he says.