Media Buying Briefing: How Generative AI is Used by Agencies of All Stripes

Generative AI has the potential to shape the future of the content creator industry, but like all other applications, it is not without its risks.

From creative briefs to deepfake images, generative AI is spreading rapidly in the workplace and online media. Media and creative agencies as well as influencer marketing agencies see technology changing their business and the way they work with content creators. But they greet it with skepticism: Four of the six agencies Digiday spoke to for this article noted the security and ethical challenges that could arise as the technology develops.

Some agencies are using AI in their client and creative work, but find that the visual and generative content of AI is still experimental in public and consumer-facing applications. Eric Dahan, founder of creator performance agency MightyJoy, said his teams are already using AI in creator messaging, designs, copywriting and proposals to shave hundreds of hours off those processes.

“It’s definitely a powerful enabler for internal teams,” Dahan said. “The future is for all or most of a creator’s content to be either AI-generated or AI-driven. At this point, their primary value proposition is really their community and the strength of the relationships within it. . »

Natalie Comins, group creative director at agency IPG Huge, also sees generative AI as a tool that could help content creators, particularly as a way to generate “content at scale”.

“Generative AI is like having a helpful assistant at your fingertips,” Comins said. “Going forward, we expect content creators to use this aid… To maximize long-term effectiveness, leveraging generative AI tools will require creators to learn the unique language of each system. The more experience creators can gain working with these tools, the better the quality of the results will be. »

Huge has helped clients understand the implications of AI by conducting workshops and writing white papers on the subject. Recently, the agency used AI to develop visuals with client Pantone for a Color of the Year 2023 project. Comins said there are plans to involve AI in more other upcoming client projects.

“We leveraged generative AI by capturing messages and sentiments typically associated with color, such as bravery, optimism, fearlessness and nature, to elicit images that appropriately conveyed these ideas of color. an unorthodox way,” she added.

Generative AI has also spread to social media, where profiles and videos feature AI-generated artwork and books, virtual influencers and video scripts. Becky Owen, CMO of influencer agency Billion Dollar Boy, said a growing number of creators are using AI to boost their social media presence and make their workflows more efficient. Interestingly, she thinks it can lead back to more organic content.

“Historically, trends in the creator economy tend to go back to human creation,” Owen said. “Just look at how TikTok, for example, has repopularized raw, unfiltered content. If we’re going to use what we’ve seen in the past as an indicator of the future, I think we can look at AI for a while, but ultimately we’ll always be hungry for human content – maybe -be even more.

Despite the popularity of generative AI content, agencies are cautious about some of the ethical and privacy concerns. As more influencers turn to AI, greater risks could arise around content transparency and brand safety issues for those who use influencers. Daria Belova, director of marketing and public relations at influencer agency HypeFactory, said creators need to be upfront about using AI.

“[Creators should ensure] they don’t mislead their audience and feature exclusive audience-friendly content that has a creative dash from the influencer,” Belova said. “Malicious use of generative AI is one of the biggest concerns today.”

This is where human involvement will be important. When it comes to working with brands, Belova says influencer marketing campaigns will always need to rely on content teams who know how to use generative AI and other tools: “Brands can’t do trust AI-generated content to achieve peak performance without having people operating behind the scenes.

And as Billion Dollar Boy’s Owen also mentioned, creators need to consider potential breaches and challenges as they continue to use AI in a rapidly changing environment. “Regulation will also naturally become a challenge,” added Owen. “As with all new emerging technologies, generative AI does not come with a rulebook in the creator economy and beyond.”

In March, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and leaders from academia and technology signed a open letter to stop development in generative AI “more powerful than GPT-4” for at least six months, citing risks to “society and humanity”. More than 1,700 have signed up, including Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, Evan Sharp, co-founder of Pinterest, and Craig Peters, CEO of Getty Images.

Owen expects regulation to catch up with this emerging technology as artificial intelligence and privacy have been front and center for lawmakers in recent years. And it remains to be seen how generative AI in particular will affect the wider creator economy and the agencies that operate within it.

Color by numbers

Small businesses make up about 44% of the US economy, according to the Small Business Administration. THE Connected Commerce Council recently studied the impact of this group on the purchase and sale of digital advertising, speaking with 2,400 SMEs. His conclusion: Digital ads help level the playing field with big companies that small businesses compete with. —Michel Burgi

Here are some findings from the Maximum Impact study:

  • 78% of SMB advertisers report digital ads bring more revenue to their business than traditional offline ads.
  • 82% of SMB advertisers say digital ads allow them to reach their target customers more effectively than traditional offline ads.
  • 30% of SMB advertisers earn revenue attributable to digital ads from more than $650,000 per yearwhile 57% earn at least $50,000 a year.
  • 40% of SMB publishers say selling digital ads generates more than half of their overall revenue.
  • 63% of SMB publishers expect revenue from digital ad sales to be higher in 2023 than in 2022 – around 35% on average.

Take-off and landing

  • Publicis acquires a South American technology and digital transformation company The practicewith plans to fold it into its Publicis Sapient arm.
  • Independent performance agency midnight tapped Jeremy Cornfeldt to be its first-ever president, reporting to CEO Zach Morrison and joining the company’s leadership team. Cornfeldt was until recently the American CEO of BrainLabs.
  • Speaking of brain labs, the independent media agency has landed paid search and purchase rights, as well as retail rights for the mobile phone service Consumer Cellularbeating the incumbents Performance And Rain the Growth Agency.
  • Ad Exchange Share Last week, it announced the launch of its own carbon calculator, the Carbon Emissions Estimator, a free tool that aims to help advertisers determine the approximate amount of carbon produced by a digital media campaign.

Direct quote

“I did this [Beatles] ‘LOVE’ show in Las Vegas with about 7,000 speakers in the room… It’s kind of like spatial audio. It’s really poignant and moving. I thought that was the future and it wasn’t – at that time. I never thought headphones would be the introduction to spatial audio because they’re the most compromised phase-y experience. [But] it’s improved exponentially over the past three years, it’s become listenable.

— Music producer Giles Martin (son of legendary Beatles producer George Martin), on advances in spatialized sound.

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