I wrote about automated copywriters in The Drum last year. (http://bit.ly/2ahyNo0)
Now it turns out if you bought lingerie from Cosabella, you may well have been sold it by a robot. Campaign ran this story last month (http://bit.ly/2mZagLU ) in which the marketing director says she has an AI platform called Albert running – well, pretty much everything.
The client gave it some creative ideas, and it went and tested, learnt and improved things until it was handling their whole search, social and display marketing programme. The results were astonishing.
The marketing director said, ‘I would never have a human do this again.’
You can see why. Albert has no preconceptions, will try anything and see what works, learns from it all, and never rests.
As far as I can see, you can now take whatever data you’ve got, plug it into Albert and an automated copywriter, and go and count your money. You don’t need data strategists, or any other kind, because you’re not guessing what will work, you’re trying out everything and doubling down on what actually does work.
There still seems to be a need for art directors, at least for the moment, but the only other creative input required is in creating and managing the brand at the highest level. And to do the good old-fashioned advertising.
It’ll be sweet revenge for the ancient titans of advertising to see the digital agencies, who have been busy eating the ad agencies’ lunch for some years now, suddenly replaced by robots.
But they might not be celebrating for long.
Here’s a bit of AI that can create new Beatles’ songs: http://bit.ly/2nXA5e3. Not totally convincing, and there was some human involvement, but it’s only going to get better. And don’t listen to it too often, because it’s horrible, but catchy.
And here’s an algorithm that analyses what makes a best-selling book: http://bit.ly/2d5aD3G. Next step, use it to write one.
And here’s a short movie written by AI: http://bit.ly/2lPNXso. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it has emotive power.
And here’s a movie trailer made by IBM’s Watson: http://bit.ly/2oIAYa6.
AI can thus create verbal and visual narratives, and music, and get an emotional response from the viewer. Isn’t that quite close to a definition of TV advertising?
What then is left for us humans to do? A question we’ll all be asking soon, not just in marketing, but everywhere.
Let me declare an interest here: I’ve written a novel about the arrival of AI and conscious robots, and I didn’t use an algorithm to do so. Possibly a mistake. It’s not set in the world of marketing, but in a care home for the elderly.
The novel’s title is ‘We Care For You’, and it’ll be published soon.