media update’s Adam Wakefield looks at how technology is helping advertisers be more creative, and how it's making the creative process more efficient.

AI is helping creatives find what is important, faster   

In an earlier interview with TBWA\ Middle East and Africa president Cem Topcuoglu, he said data analysis and referencing is where AI will be most relevant to the advertising industry.

“From a creative point of view, in the beginning, it was unsettling,” adds Topcuoglu. “But, once we changed our perspective, and approached it from a data angle, it became clear that AI powered by data can be a powerful tool.”

TBWA\ uses AI to collect data and put ‘clues’ together, so its creatives can work with the best insights and use those insights as the starting point for their work.

“Data should be inspiring. We want data to be used purely for creativity. AI is helping us focus less on the past, and more on current culture,” Topcuogly says.

Ahmed Tilly, joint chief creative officer at FCB Johannesburg, says there appears to be a contestation of ideas between what he calls “the scientists” and “the magicians” at the moment, being data and storytelling respectively.

“Whilst the data can provide a wealth of information for us to use, the data should never take precedence over the magic of storytelling,” Tilley says.

“After all, we are in the business of making people fall in love with our brands. And love doesn’t always make sense.”

AI is bringing sentiment analysis to advertising

According to George Beall, a marketer and contributor to technology website The Next Web, Goldman Sachs invested $30-million USD into Persado, an AI firm that aggregates and “compiles ‘cognitive content’, which is copy backed by data”.

“It breaks down everything, from sentence structure, word choice, emotion, time of day, and even can bring in a more accurate call-to-action,” Beall says.

Advertising agencies are also using AI for audience discovery and targeting. As Beall notes, these practices have existed for some time but AI is “accelerating the process”.

As AI becomes more advanced, expect it to continue shaking up the advertising industry.

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Blockchain, like AI, is another technology that has the potential to change advertising. Read more in our article, Blockchain will soon have an important role to play in advertising.