Artificially Intelligent Advertising?

Yes, it’s true. The future really is here. We’ve all heard watched the sci-fi movies and fantasy novels where Artificial Intelligence takes us over to rule the world, but if you take a moment to look around, you might be surprised to know just how prevalent AI is in our daily life.

From Google’s search engines to Siri on your smartphone, AI has been changing the way we live our lives. And now, one adventurous creative agency is experimenting how it will change the way we perceive advertising.

M&C Saatchi has created an “evolving” ad, based on Artificial Intelligence. Based off the Darwinian principles of evolution, the digital poster has certain seed elements that change dynamically. A camera on the digital billboard monitors passerby engagement, recording if the certain design arrangement of the ad produced effective results by monitoring number of people and whether their faces showed happiness, sadness, or indifference.

If that doesn’t sound technical enough, this is where it gets really crazy. The successful ads then “reproduce” with each other, creating new generations of ads where the effective elements are retained and the non-effective ones are discarded. It’s an artificial, accelerated form of natural selection – or what I like to refer to as “automated optimization”.

In the digital advertising world optimization of your ad creatives is key. This is simple to do when you can track user engagement via clicks, email opt-ins, page impressions, etc. But translating this method to the offline advertising space is truly genius as it would cut down the amount of time required to determine the effectiveness of a traditional print ad.

This is a first time experiment and M&C Saatchi only have one specific site for the AI advertisement, so you would need to take into consideration the sample size and demographics to make a sound judgment on the results. But the future sounds promising for AI advertising that constantly shifts and changes based on audience reaction. A consistently refreshing ad design would lower “banner blindness” greatly and increase viewer engagement across the board.

While many creative studios out there might be worried that this technology could eventually replace them, we have to remember that computers lack the skill to write ads from scratch. They still require the creative seeds that need to be planted before they can optimize for the “best ad”. But it is a sign that computers are getting smarter at creativity, which is an interesting topic in itself.

About Ira Warner

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