Commentary

Artificially Intelligent

Traditionally, building effective ad creative has involved a lot of human guesswork, but AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology is on the cutting edge of offering audiences ads they’ll actually enjoy, writes author Emily Alford for ClickZ, published on August 10, 2018.

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Deciding when and where to deliver that message, not to mention the labor that goes into creating the message in the first place, has long involved human guesswork, says the report. Though those guesses often come after rigorous testing, the best tests are limited to the often slow-moving human analysis. 

Until now… 

Artificial intelligence has already transformed everything from the IT department to the customer service experience, and now, machine learning is on track to completely change the ways we think about ad creative.

A recent study by Adlucent found that 46% of consumers say that their ideal online experience would involve free access to websites that served only relevant ads, with 58% reporting that personalized content improves their perception of a brand. But until now, the kind of testing that would allow brands to truly deliver ad creative tailored to customers’ preferences has involved heavy reliance on past behaviors, or the preferences of similar customers, notes the report.

However, new advances in AI technology are changing both the ways we test and serve ads. For example, Google recently released an AI tool that automatically adjusts ads to users’ searches, saving advertisers the time they previously spent painstakingly optimizing ads.

And, a Tel Aviv-based company called Bidalgo has recently released “Creative AI”, a tool that makes it much easier to inform advertisers about customers’ ad preferences. Soon, AI could transform the way advertisers create and test campaigns.

Ran Milo, Vice President of marketing for Bigalgo, says “Machine learning is going deeper and deeper into the media buying and online advertising process, but creative is still the biggest factor in media buying success. However, it’s also the area where advertisers have very little insight and very little data. The solution is to identify which of your creative is actually performing.”

Bidalgo’s tool actually scores elements of an ad using KPIs from all parts of the buyer’s’ journey to predict what audiences want, and then compares creative performance for different messaging and images, a task that would be virtually impossible without AI, says the report.

“Right now, advertisers are flying blind,” Milo says. “Even if you understand that certain creative works better, it’s hard to understand why. We’re using machine learning for image and video recognition to break down different variables, such as concept and copy to find out what’s affecting different KPIs.” But AI can test dozens of things at once, which means faster, more accurate data that can serve to make better ads in the future. 

While humans are still primarily responsible for conceptualizing and producing ad content, even that could change in the future. Last year, Shun Matsuzaka, of McCann Japan, introduced the world to its first robot creative director. He and his team fed AI a database of award-winning advertisements with the goal of creating a commercial for breath mints. The result was a surreal ad featuring a flying dog in a business suit that apparently resonated with viewers. 

“Humans are still significant,” concludes the report, “but the future will be unifying AI insights to be sure the correct ad creative is going to the right place, in the right format.”

 

 

 

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