Early last year, Coca-Cola launched a first-of-its-kind AI platform to engage digital artists, ad creatives, and fans to generate original artwork with iconic creative assets from the brand’s archives. At a time when the creative and advertising industry feared the potential displacement of human talent by artificial intelligence, the beverage company initiated a campaign to empower creatives to collaborate with generative AI.
It was a bold move — even a risky stance of deploying a largely uncharted technology — but it gave the world more than just a glimpse of the future. As the beverage company’s CEO James Quincey said, not taking the risk is a hopeless point of view to start from.
The creative and advertising economy is currently undergoing a significant transformation, pushing industry players beyond boundaries that have been in place for decades. With generative AI thrust into the mainstream, it would be more challenging for brands to escape its long shadow than to leverage its power in driving the best possible business outcomes.
Democratizing the Creative Industry
For a long time, advertising was a game dominated by big players. Only massive corporations with substantial budgets could afford grand campaigns from top-tier agencies, leaving small businesses to rely on traditional methods and word-of-mouth to make a mark in the market.
Thanks to the latest innovations, even the smallest businesses create extensive ads. Generative AI has given industry players a considerably more level playing field to reach customers and forge brand loyalty. Marketers, creative producers, graphic designers, and copywriters are learning to break free from traditional practices and create quality creative content that was seemingly out of reach just a few years ago.
This shift did not and will not shake up the big names in advertising, as many have feared. However, it is a game-changer for small companies with big ambitions. With AI offering a fair chance to join the transformation of the advertising and creative industry, brands and marketers can revolutionize personalization at scale, using customer insights and creativity to craft tailored and engaging content that resonates with individual customers on a deeper level.
The technology conglomerateMeta rolled out its first generative AI features for advertisers, allowing customization of creative assets by generating multiple diverse backgrounds to change the look of product images. Creating varied backgrounds for product images traditionally involved costly and time-consuming commercial shoots. Meta’s generative AI streamlines this process, allowing brands to efficiently customize visuals based on the preferences and characteristics of their target markets. This reduces the logistical challenges associated with multiple shooting times and opens new possibilities for agile and responsive marketing strategies, regardless of the size of the business.
Bridging the Language Gap, Capturing Global Audiences
The goal of the creative and advertising industry is to reach as wide an audience as possible, connecting people across geographical boundaries and diverse cultures. However, language differences hinder effective communication. Imagine if your favorite Korean or Thai dramas were devoid of translation options. How devastating would that be?
To address this linguistic challenge, AI-driven language translation and localization tools have become pivotal in making creative content accessible globally. As the world’s largest streaming service, Netflix has significantly intensified its localization efforts with high-quality subtitles and dubs. Netflix’s global success stems from its ability to make its content, wherever it may be produced, to be culturally relevant to international audiences.
Concurrently, Disney’s commitment to content localization is evident in its increased spending, reaching 33 billion Dollars in 2022 compared to 25 billion Dollars in 2021, as disclosed by Andrew Aherne, the company’s VP of distribution operations. Disney Plus now provides an expanding array of languages and subtitles, enhancing the platform’s appeal and delivering a personalized viewing experience.
Several AI startups and creative platforms, including Deepdub, Papercup, Resemble AI, and ElevenLabs, actively contribute to the field, providing dubbing services for domestic and international studios, streaming services, gaming, and creators.
Regulating the Use of AI to Protect Creative Talents
As AI use in the advertising industry accelerates, governments are seeking to implement foundational rules to ensure ethical practices, transparent utilization, and liability. The EU, Britain, and Australia, among other nations, are already in the process of drafting policies to regulate the use of this technological tool. Meanwhile, China has issued a set of temporary measures requiring companies to submit security assessments and obtain clearance before releasing mass-market AI products. Italy initially banned the platform over data privacy issues but restored access less than a month later. In contrast, the US has allowed tech companies to develop their own AI guardrails.
A pressing question demanding attention is whether the extensive data utilized to train large language models requires consent from authors, artists, and producers, or if there is a requirement to acknowledge and provide compensation for the utilization of their works. A lawsuit filed by Getty Images, accusing Stability AI of copying over 12 million images from its database, has brought conversations about intellectual property (IP), copyright infringement, and plagiarism to the forefront.
The ethical hazards, as highlighted by many artists and AI critics, underscore the need for more precise boundaries and legal frameworks in the realm of AI-driven content creation. Effectively addressing intellectual property issues requires a collective effort from different stakeholders. AI developers must adhere to data acquisition laws, ensuring proper licensing or compensation for IP used in training models. Users, whether individuals and businesses, should exercise caution, inquire about training data sources, review terms of service and privacy policies, and avoid AI tools lacking confirmation of proper licensing or adherence to open-source licenses.
Implementing robust IP protection laws is crucial for securing the rights of human creative talents, while also fostering an environment conducive to innovation and creativity by ensuring that creators receive protection and recognition. It is a delicate balancing act between technological advancements and societal safety, but there is really no other way to foster sustainable growth than by promoting responsible and ethical innovation.
As we anticipate further disruption from AI-powered content in the creative and advertising industry, we see a future free from conventional limits. The intersection of artificial intelligence and human ingenuity is an exciting territory to explore – and we are only at the beginning of a long, long road. While ChatGPT cannot predict its own future development (we asked it), what is certain is that AI has arrived, and there is no going back.
The AI revolution has started? Check out how AI-powered agency Rover is leading this new era in PR and marketing.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Leveraging more than 10 years of local and regional planning experience, Phuc Ngo is the Founding Vice President at Rover. He specializes in brand strategy and IMC through PR, digital, and social
As the Founding Vice President at Rover, Khine Zar Thwe spearheads agency accounts, nurtures client relationships, and formulates insightful strategies.
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