We are currently in the midst of a transformative era, fuelled by the widespread adoption of AI. Virtually every industry, from retail to healthcare, has experienced disruptive changes owing to its profound impact.
Advertising, renowned for its reliance on creativity, is no exception. Although AI has long been a part of advertising, its initial focus revolved around targeted media and data analysis. However, with the advent of advanced AI technologies, the landscape is shifting, enabling AI to play an increasingly significant role in the creative process itself. Collaborating with human creatives, AI now offers valuable insights and guidance that can be refined and modified. As a result, ad agencies are harnessing the power of AI to produce superior ads that boast enhanced efficiency and cost-effectiveness. In this article, we delve into the convergence of AI and advertising, exploring how this collaboration is reshaping the industry and unlocking new creative possibilities.
Let’s explore the realm of AI advertising and discover some remarkable examples of communication that have been crafted.
Coca-Cola’s New Ad is a Branding Masterpiece
The latest Coke ad, called Masterpiece, takes us on a captivating journey through iconic paintings and sculptures from around the globe. It is truly extraordinary. The ad has been ingeniously crafted, partially using AI technology. Masterpiece follows the journey of a Coke bottle from one iconic painting to the next, as it makes its way to a thirsty student in need of inspiration. The VFX team at Electric Theatre Collective and creative agency Blitzworks used a mix of live-action shots, digital effects and AI to create the commercial and its complex transitions. This ad is a who’s who of the world’s greatest artists and artworks, including Hiroshige’s Drum Bridge and Setting Sun, Turner’s The Shipwreck and Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles. Contemporary artists get in on the journey too; Aket’s Divine Idyll features alongside works by Kushwah, Tejada and Ramadan.
Coca-Cola Creating Real Magic
Whereas other brands might be content using existing AI technologies in their marketing, Coca-Cola launched its own AI platform, built exclusively for the brand by OpenAI and Bain & Company. Dubbed Create Real Magic, the platform combines GPT-4 and DALL-E. The resulting campaign prompted fans to create their own digital artwork based on dozens of branded assets, such as Coke’s distinctive contour bottle and script logo. Artists were allowed to download and submit their creations, with the best results appearing on digital billboards in New York’s Time Square and London’s Piccadilly Circus.
Nike’s AI Showdown: Serena Williams Battles Her Past Self
As Serena Williams embarked on her 27th and final year as a professional tennis player, Nike seized the opportunity to showcase her remarkable journey and the evolution of her game.
Leveraging the power of advanced AI and machine learning, Nike unveiled an unprecedented display of Williams’ progression throughout her career. In collaboration with AKQA studios, Nike embarked on a time-travelling venture pitting Williams from her first Grand Slam victory at the 1999 US Open against her most recent triumph at the 2017 Australian Open. The objective was to gain valuable insights into Williams’ development as a player and understand the driving forces that pushed her to challenge the future. Using machine learning techniques, each era’s distinctive playing style, encompassing decision- making, shot selection, reactivity, recovery and agility, was meticulously modelled based on archival footage. The outcome was an awe-inspiring spectacle that witnessed both Williams engage in 130,000 games and 5,000 matches. To share this remarkable experience with the public, Nike broadcasted the final gameplay as a YouTube livestream, captivating an audience of over 1.69 million subscribers.
Cadbury, Shahrukh Khan and AI
On Diwali, Cadbury launched a campaign that not only allowed local store owners in India to create ads for their own shops but also featured superstar Shah Rukh Khan. Titled ‘NotJustACadburyAd,’ this campaign tackles a pertinent issue close to the hearts of many across the nation – the loss of jobs and incomes due to Covid. Cadbury harnessed the power of Shah Rukh Khan’s influence to empower local businesses in these challenging times. The campaign uses AI to enable viewers to craft their own customised ads through a dedicated website. To access this platform, individuals interested in creating personalised ads featuring Shah Rukh Khan can visit the notjustacadburyad.com website, which has been exclusively designed to generate customised versions of the ad. By sharing basic information about their business, participants can leverage the power of AI and machine learning. These advanced technologies then recreate Shah Rukh Khan’s face and voice in a way that makes it seem as though the actor is personally endorsing the local store or brand, enhancing visibility and reach.
Even AI Knew Ketchup Meant Heinz
Heinz’s AI-generated ad campaign represents a remarkable fusion of technology, creativity and consumer engagement. Inspired by a simple idea, Rethink Ideas delved into the capabilities of the AI image generator DALL-E 2. During their exploration, they made a remarkable discovery; prompts related to ketchup, such as “ketchup in outer space” or “ketchup scuba diving,” consistently generated images that strikingly resembled bottles of Heinz ketchup. Seizing the opportunity, the agency encouraged consumers to participate in the campaign by sharing their own AI prompts to generate ketchup-themed imagery. The best creations were featured in social media posts and print ads, celebrating the creativity and engagement of Heinz’s dedicated fan base. Embracing the potential of AI-generated visuals, Heinz and Rethink Ideas aimed to captivate audiences with a campaign that not only embraced cutting-edge technology but also fostered a sense of collaboration and interactivity.
In an era defined by rapid technological advancements, the future of advertising is poised to transcend conventional boundaries and open up boundless opportunities. With each passing moment, technology continues to reshape the way brands engage with consumers, offering a glimpse into a future where creativity knows no bounds. Accepting these advancements will be key for advertisers to stay ahead in an ever-changing landscape. By leveraging the transformative power of technology, brands can connect with audiences in ways that were once unimaginable, leading to more impactful campaigns, increased engagement and a future where the boundaries of advertising are continuously redefined.
Sumaira Mirza is Creative Director, Ogilvy Pakistan.