From steam engines to storytellers: Why AI needs a human co-pilot

From steam engines to storytellers: Why AI needs a human co-pilot

Gen AI is not a threat but a powerful tool that can elevate the advertising and marketing industry

Tanya Kennedy

Remember those clunky steam engines? Sure, they revolutionised transportation, but imagine a world where they chugged off on their own, blissfully unaware of potential hazards or destinations. That's where humans came in, to guide these iron beasts and ensure they didn't end up powering a runaway train to disaster.

Similar parallels can be drawn with the latest wave of Generative AI (Gen AI) tools that are transforming the advertising and marketing landscape. These tools are powerful and capable of churning out content and generating ideas at an impressive pace. But just like those early steam engines, Gen AI needs a human co-pilot (pun intended) to navigate its potential and achieve the desired results.

How generative AI is transforming advertising and marketing

The advertising and marketing world is undergoing a revolution driven by generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI). Gen AI is capable of creating entirely new content or modifying existing material and is fundamentally changing the way we approach campaigns and client needs. But how exactly is Gen AI impacting our everyday work, and what does the future hold for this dynamic field?

The Gen AI toolkit: A creative powerhouse

At our agency, we've embraced Gen AI's potential, utilizing tools like Adobe Firefly and Bing Copilot for creative editing, Midjourney for generating stunning visuals, and language models like ChatGPT and Google Gemini for brainstorming ideas and crafting compelling copy.

The impact on our workflow is undeniable. Efficiency and production have gone up measurably. Thanks to AI assistance, tasks that were once time-consuming, like video editing or creative tweaks, are now handled with greater ease. This allows us to focus on the strategic aspects of campaigns, develop innovative concepts, and craft impactful messaging.

Beyond efficiency: A spark for creativity

The true power of Gen AI lies in its ability to unlock creative potential. By feeding these tools with relevant data and brand guidelines, we can generate many unique and fresh ideas for clients. Imagine brainstorming a new ad campaign and having AI present you with a variety of visuals, taglines, and even potential scripts, all tailored to your target audience. This collaborative approach allows us to explore various possibilities, leading to more engaging and memorable campaigns.

The human edge: Collaboration, not competition

Despite Gen AI's transformative power, it's important to remember that it's not here to replace human creativity. AI thrives on the data and direction we provide. The challenge lies not in the technology itself but in encouraging our colleagues to embrace these new tools and integrate them into their existing workflows.

The future of advertising belongs to those who can effectively utilize both human intelligence and machine brilliance. As a McKinsey report highlights, "marketing and sales are one of four functional groups that could reap an estimated 75% of the value" generated by Gen AI, with a potential productivity increase of 5-15% in marketing spend. This translates to a significant boost in the overall effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

A personalised future: Tailored experiences for every customer

Looking ahead, the future of advertising is all about personalization. Generative AI allows us to analyze vast amounts of customer data and behavior, leading to the creation of hyper-targeted campaigns. Imagine generating personalized email content or ad copy that speaks directly to each individual customer's needs and preferences. This level of customization fosters deeper engagement and brand loyalty, leading to a more successful marketing strategy.

Furthermore, Gen AI paves the way for immersive customer experiences. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences powered by generative AI allow customers to interact with products more engagingly. This not only showcases products memorably but also fosters brand awareness and loyalty.

The final word: A collaborative future for marketing

Generative AI is not a threat but a powerful tool that can elevate the advertising and marketing industry. As humans collaborate with AI assistants, we can achieve a level of creativity, efficiency, and personalization never before possible. The future belongs to those who embrace this transformative technology and leverage its power to create truly impactful marketing experiences. Remember the wheel? A game-changer, but not a replacement for your legs. Embrace Gen AI and the positive revolution it can bring about in advertising - it'll help you run faster, not take your place. Just like the trains!

The article has been authored by Spicetree Design Agency Sr marketing & communications executive Tanya Kennedy.