Does AI Have a Place in Advertising?

Recent discussions on AI (artificial intelligence) chatbots such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard have been traversing the spectrum of opinion: from being a “boon for businesses” to bringing about “the end of human creativity and intelligence as we know it.”

Putting the fearful concept of self-aware computers aside, Denise Blasevick, CEO and founding partner of The S3 Agency, says she is looking forward to AI in the advertising industry, but not because it will be all-creative and all-powerful. On the contrary, Blasevick believes AI will take care of the mundane uncreative content that we are inundated with via social media and blog posts, while giving human creatives the time to focus on branding that connects with people.

Denise Blasevick

Denise Blasevick

“There is too much out there that doesn’t matter, with advertising agencies generating volumes of content. That is what brands have been wanting because of the algorithms. However, a lot of that isn’t creative and (similarly) what AI will create won’t be either. It’s just gathering things up … emulating,” she explains.

With all of this meaningless “volume play” that AI could spill out, Blasevick says it will give the advertising industry the time to concentrate once again on truly creative ways to bring brands to life: “to have messaging that resonates, to create campaigns that are differentiated, meaningful and personal,” she explains.

If AI is used for advertising purposes, it will be for more low-level creativity for companies or brands that perhaps can’t afford to hire an advertising agency or a marketing staff, Blasevick explains.

When asked if less expensive AI-based content may cause companies to adopt it (because of the price factor) and be satisfied with throwing out volumes of non-creative messaging, Blasevick says it will “definitely happen” and that it is no different from companies farming out work overseas to have blog posts written or social media created for “ridiculously cheap prices.”

“If you are doing that, you are already close to having something already automated,” she says.

Asked if consumers will know the difference between AI generated content vs human content, Blasevick compares it to using stock photos vs original photos: “We see so many stock images and they all tend to have ‘that look.’ You know it wasn’t originally shot. [AI] is going to be that way, it won’t have that layer of brilliance of depth … that emotional connection. It will be a tiny bit off and that makes a difference.”

All of this said, Blasevick and her entire team at Boonton-based S3 are experimenting with ChatGPT: “The whole team is playing with it,” she says, but adds that nothing generated from it has been used for client branding purposes.

“What I have found is that it’s a great thought starter. It’s a great way to get the creative juices flowing. Sometimes an unexpected word comes in and you take it and run with it. It’s a time saver … and it has triggered next level thoughts, but I haven’t used it in anything directly,” she says.

Asked if there is anything that scares her about AI, Blasevick says it is the speed at which content will be created and distributed without being vetted. “There could be errors made that could end up hurting someone,” she says.

Does Blasevick ever get caught up in the science-fiction aspect of computers becoming self-aware?

She laughs and comments: “Oh, it’s coming.”

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