AI is going to supercharge creativity

AI is going to supercharge creativity

I think like me, a lot of creatives worried when they started seeing the capabilities of AI emerging. Is this new tech going to replace me? If AI can whip up a campaign with just a few prompts, is there even a need for human imagination?

After watching a talk from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this year, I’m convinced that there absolutely is. AI is going to be a a supercharger for creativity and efficiency and we have only scratched the surface of what possibilities it can unlock for those in creative fields.

The talk I watched, AI – Supercharging Marketing and creative, was given by Vidhya Srinivasan, Google’s Ads Product Vice President, and Alex Chen, Director at the Creative Lab. They used this platform as a way to showcase the capabilities of Gemini and how this could power marketing and creative efforts. This is a new AI initiative by Google, which merges their DeepMind division's capabilities with their other AI research efforts. Gemini aims to advance the development of large language models and other AI technologies.

They opened the discussion by demoing a prototype they are working on called Project Astra. The demo involved Vidhya shooting a live video from her phone at the festival and asking the AI tech to answer specific questions about what she was seeing. It was able to very quickly analyse a drinks menu; identify drinks with specific ingredients when shown a picture; and make recommendations based on Vidhya’s preferences. It was also able to scan the agenda for the day and recommend talks she should attend based on her current role – all within a matter of seconds.

Alex then began demonstrating the different ways you could input video or images into their AI engine and get it to interpret and answer questions about them. You also have the ability to search content within videos and have a back and forth dialogue with AI about it. For example, Alex drew pictures and asked AI to tell him what they meant. He drew two stick figures with a speech bubble above their heads and inserted an alien emoji in it. He asked AI which TV series this represented. It answered: X files.

He also demonstrated how you can use AI to create different typefaces, eg: The word "Cannes" made out of Jellyfish or Noodles. You can try this out here.

Alex also demonstrated how these tools could translate into campaigning, using the example of a campaign they ran: #BestPhonesForever. This campaign showcased a distinctive and playful bond of two very recognizable smartphones, the Pixel and iPhone. You can watch their own AI generated ads here but part of the campaign was also to ask people where they would like to send the two phones who were best friends. AI generated a script and a video based off the suggestions and then their team of creatives chose the best ones and modified the scripts with AI.

I loved this next experiment the team ran. It involved getting six different artists to use AI to illustrate the Alice in Wonderland book in different styles. This allows the reader to decide which illustrate style they want to read the book with. You can take a look at that here.

The above examples are just some ways that AI can not only support but initiate creativity and epic brand experiences.

But there’s more to it than that. AI is also going to help marketers expand, create and scale their work. Some examples of this were the use of images and being able to customize product pictures to be in line with your brand identity, and then having the ability to turn them into videos. These are processes that generally take time, lots of effort and multiple departments to execute. While the general ideas and strategy need to come from creative and business minds, the execution can be sped up substantially and with multiple iterations being produced in record time. This gives you the ability to test more, learn more and optimize in a way that ensures you are getting the best performing content to the most relevant audience, quicker.

AI can even help you identify and target audiences with more accuracy and likely relevance – we’re seeing Meta already bringing this into their social suite of services, allowing marketers to use their AI to better serve ads to auto selected audiences who are likely to respond well to the content.

In short, creatives aren’t going anywhere – they're just getting an extra set of superpowers to work their magic on.


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