Super Bowl

Is generative AI the death of an adman?

The 57th Super Bowl took place last Sunday. While this biggest sports event from the American perspective is not able to come even close to soccer World Cup final when it comes to viewer statistics, it is still the reigning emperor of pure commercialism.

After all, Super Bowl is the only television program during which you actually wait for the commercials to run. The list of advertisers is published well before the game, as is the sequence of ads, and even though the content should remain a guarded secret until the very time the ads run, sneak peeks and early revelations tend to mysteriously leak out in advance.

Speaking of content, with 30 seconds of ad time in this year’s Super Bowl costing 7 million USD, the advertisers should indeed pay attention to how they use those precious seconds when they have, excluding the obligatory visits to bathroom and/or fridge, over 200 million viewers’ unreserved attention at their disposal.

This is the moment when the advertisers turn to their trusted ad agencies and marketing consultancies, asking them to assemble their best teams and give them the tools to be the best they can be. They must come up with distinguishable concepts, impactful tone-of-voices, and executions that downright knock the viewers’ socks off, generating instant impulses to immediately get their hands on those things that just appeared on the screen.

This is not the time to go wild with search engine optimization or conversion rates. Sure, tons of research data and statistics will be poured on creatives to support them in this quest, but deep down this is old-school advertising, one of the almost extinct moments where great ideas still make the difference.

So, heaven forbid, this is not a project for anything like Chat GPT to handle. Is it?

Chat GPT arrived at the end of 2022, bringing to surface what had been cooking for a long time: AI has become a norm in taking care of business, at least when it comes to routine matters. Now, generative AI is taking it up by a notch or two, stepping on the toes of content creators – or, providing them with valuable support, depending on which angle you are looking at the ongoing development.

And what do you know, just a couple of weeks ago the mighty Google declared, through the company CEO, that “AI is the most profound technology we are working on today.”

Google’s purpose is about organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful. Six years ago, they saw that AI holds one of the most significant keys to this and started digging deep.

Since that, several AI-based models have emerged from Google, and now the company launched Bard, an experimental conversational AI service, to a group of testers. Public launch is expected to take place just in a few weeks.

In the light of Chat GPT, Bard et al., it is by no means an understatement to say generative AI is the hottest topic in innovation today. Companies are investing in developer companies by a zillion as we speak, with Microsoft strengthening its collaboration with OpenAI, the company that invented Chat GPT, and Google obviously shifting gears with Bard.

In addition to conversations, creative work and human language processing, generative AI can already help create strategies, detect diseases at their early stages and so on. The potential is enormous, and the ways to unleash that potential seem plenty and versatile.

One day, generative AI just may take over even creating Super Bowl commercials.

A quick look at this year’s highly anticipated ads does bring out an opinion that the question is not if generative AI is the death of an adman. Rather, the question is when the declaration of death takes place.

Neighbors singing a hymn to T-Mobile. Jeep emerging from under a pile of snow. A couple drinking Bud Light while waiting to get through to a telephone service. And so on.

Stuff based on average behavior in average lives. Nothing a stack of data and some linguistic intelligence, no matter how artificial, should not be able to come up with. While Bard may still be making mistakes with extrasolar planets and such specific matters (thus causing Google’s stock value to drop by 100 MUSD in one day, but they’ll bounce back), its abilities to act as a Creative Director, in a field where opinions count as much as data, may prove adequate sooner than we dare imagine.


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