What: The use of artificial intelligence in marketing and advertising is turning heads and generating headlines with reports of computers ability to select images and colors, improve text, sift through big data to sharpen targeting and lift customer response rates.
Why it matters: Agencies, however, say theyre deploying AI for more mundane but critical tasks, like automating repetitive work, including sorting and labeling images and videos, saving thousands of hours of labor and freeing up in-house talent for higher-level creative output.
The brave new world of artificial intelligence in advertising is here. Recent headlines boast of AIs ability to boost customer response rates with better text, content and just the right selection of colors and images in advertising.
Marketers tell Portada, however, that theyre using AI for far more mundane but still essential agency tasks saving thousands of hours of labor and freeing up their best talent to do what creatives do best: create.
“Our initial goal is to automate several of the manual processes that go into the content creative process,” Carmen Garcés, head of digital at Hogarth México told Portada.
Hogarth Mexico, she said, is using AI or “machine learning” to mask, rotoscope, review, organize and tag hundreds of hours of video as well as images, saving the agency thousands of hours of labor.
Artificial intelligence is also being used to sort through Hogarths talent database of thousands of worldwide employees to help producers select just the right resources for each project.
The time saved frees up Hogarth Mexico staff to improve and apply their skills and technical knowledge to creative output, Garcés explained in an email.
“There are a lot of talented people around the world with unique creative and technical skills. We see AI as a great support to help us leverage this talent even further and to provide novel solutions and superior output for our clients.”
Let the computer see it
Applying AI tools to recognize, catalog and modify visual content provides exciting opportunities for improving work efficiency and increasing advertisings effectiveness.
Our initial goal is to automate several of the manual processes that go into the content creative process.
“One element of targeting that is still left relatively untapped is object recognition,” wrote Tim Bosch, associate director at Resolution Media in a recent column published by Digital Commerce 360.
“AI will be the driving force that exposes this massive targeting opportunity.”
According to Bosch, Snapchat has developed the technology to recognize objects posted by users, differentiating between food, pets, and more.
“Imagine this—after analyzing a users image inventory, object recognition technology could calculate their individual fashion style. This style feeds into their overall profile which brands can tap into to provide personalized ad messaging.”
According to Garcés, Hogarth Mexico is “talking to multiple vendors and research institutes,” about how AI could help further improve the agencys productivity, including using AI to modify videos and images.
“That would allow us to remove entire elements and objects from a scene something that if done in the traditional way could take days.”
Hogarth Mexico is considering AI tools that would allow it to change out the dialogue of actors in a video, substituting “a completely different phrase or even deliver the speech in a completely different language.”
Its undeniable that the unstoppable progress of AI has made it a tool that is impossible to ignore.
“The most important opportunity for us is to leverage AI to augment our talent, amplify the creative output of our organization and provide superior customer experience while delivering content to our clients,” Garcés told Portada.
Use AI to free up creative talent
At Grey Mexico, Chief Creative Officer Humberto Polar is focused on how to use AI to automate the generation of creative materials for advertising, including combining of images and prices, and adapting formats in retail campaigns.
“This type of work today occupies many hours and is subject to a high level of human error precisely because it is operation-related and not creative work,” Polar told Portada.
“We should put our efforts towards automating tasks that liberate people to do more much more gratifying and useful work, providing truly creative support to our clients.”
Grey Mexico is also using AI to analyze data, generating new understanding of the behaviors of consumers. With AI, the agency can apply its same creative thinking, but to much larger data sets.
Mark A. Browne
Mark A. Browne is Portada's Marketing Innovation Editor. He is a bilingual (English-Spanish) writer, media relations manager, and content creation professional with an established record providing journalism, copywriting and analytical content services to major publishers, PR agencies and businesses in the United States, Latin America and Europe. His award-winning career as a reporter and editor includes daily and weekly newspaper experience and free-lance writing for major print and online publications.