By Ciaran McKivergan, CEO and founding partner at 8909 Digital
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will slowly start its journey to necessity in the advertising world in 2023. It’s ‘been coming’ for a few years now and a few progressive operators have slowly been rolling it out, but 2023 will be the year that its application reaches critical mass and really starts to impact the way agencies offer clients solutions – and the way the public consumes those messages.
AI in Creativity
Whenever a disruptive technology comes along, the affected industry’s reaction is generally running around with its collective hair on fire because the world is about to end. Once the hysteria subsides, people realise that they can harness the technology and work alongside it to make their lives easier and improve the quality and volume of their work.
AI is that technology at the moment and software like DALL-E and MidJourney (where you can type in a set of prompts or keywords and the program spits out an image) is the tech. At the moment, everyone is still apprehensive, but next year, creatives will realise that they can lean into the tech and use it to future-proof their craft, rather than being replaced by it.
The reality is that we can use the tech to hero creative work, at the end of the day. More creative output needs more creative input – while the software can deliver a hastily-hewn statue, it’s the creatives who will take the fine chisels and sandpaper to the product, introducing nuance and inflection to deliver messaging that’s clear and effective. Embracing the tech as a tool and not a bludgeon is the way the industry is going to thrive.
AI in Media Delivery
AI has steadily been gaining traction in the media space, specifically in regards to ad delivery and audience modelling and next year is set to be the watershed moment where we properly use AI to manage the volume of data we have access to, to fine-tune delivery of the right work, to the right people, in the right place and at the right time. AI can crunch the plethora of data available and deliver information that agencies can use to their benefit, serving clients better and helping them reach more of the people they want to speak to.
Programmatic Digital OOH
The historic approach to billboard provisioning and flighting is set to shift in 2023 as Programmatic Digital OOH matures. The cycle of identifying a billboard by its catchment area and market, producing and pinning creative to it and having no measurement of its effectiveness is going to be interrupted by the smarter use of digital billboards.
The next phase is using AI to inform the frequency and visibility – and potentially the content – of creative that’s on display at any given time. Using the same kind of algorithms that Meta does to target users by area, street or block and interests advertisers will be able to deliver messages that speak to the needs of the market likely to see that billboard at a given time and adapt it as the demographic around the billboard changes – even on an hour-by-hour basis. The technology exists – the industry just needs to find smart partners who’ll share the data required to make it sing – and the game will change.
The Rise of the Creator Economy
Heavy-handed corporate briefings into a set of chosen influencers is set to give way to allowing those creatives to speak to their audiences in the way they normally would – which is how they won those audiences in the first place. It’s moving away from ‘influencers’ to partnering with ‘content creators’.
As these creators demonstrate that they have the chops to bring a brand to life in a way that genuinely makes an impact on their following – and, as a result, a client’s numbers – clients are going to become, or at least, need to become more trusting, allowing creators a bit more freedom. It’s ‘we love what you create, please share our message’ rather than ‘here’s a calendar of generic content to foist on your followers’.