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Brand Breakthroughs: Can gen AI make all marketers creative?

When it comes to amplifying human potential for creativity, AI, especially generative AI, can make written and visual communicating easier. Idea generation, thought-starters, personalized content development, image and video generation, even press release generation are all areas that gen AI can impact, writes Sumit Virmani, global CMO, Infosys, exclusively for Storyboard18

Published: Apr 24, 2024 01:18:24 PM IST
Updated: Apr 24, 2024 07:01:13 PM IST

Brand Breakthroughs: Can gen AI make all marketers creative?Several brands, including Infosys, now routinely use gen AI to develop copy, design and video output. Image: Shutterstock

They say, good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart. Clearly, that takes intelligence and imagination. In other words – marketing is really all about creativity that breaks through the clutter and reaches the customer in unique ways that make an impression.

Now, what if we were suddenly endowed with a superpower that makes it possible to come up with creative means to engage with our target audience more easily and faster than ever before? Is AI indeed that new creative superpower that can put human imagination on steroids?

When it comes to amplifying human potential for creativity, AI, especially generative AI, can contribute significantly. Making written and visual communicating easier. Idea generation, thought-starters, personalized content development, image and video generation, even press release generation are all areas that gen AI can impact.

Several brands, including Infosys, now routinely use gen AI to develop copy, design and video output. Brands like Unilever, in fact, have created their own gen AI tools suite, Homer, to develop promotional copy. In fact, entire campaigns can now hinge on artificial intelligence-powered execution. Remember how Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk used gen AI, and working along with filmmaker Zoya Akhtar, helped couples create beautiful memoirs on Valentine’s Day as part of their campaign?

Hyper-personalizing outreach. Gen AI can also help make granular analyses of consumer behavior and then generate creative content based on this deep understanding of how customer segments engage with various messages. For example, Instacart, the American grocery delivery service, figured that questions around meal planning are common for people to ask ChatGPT. They created a plugin for ChatGPT with OpenAI.

The plugin lets customers ask recipe-related questions like, ‘I have carrots and rice. What's a diabetic-friendly meal I can make, and what other ingredients should I buy?’ or ‘Give me vegan meal ideas for my picky toddler?’ A few clicks and the add-on ingredients can be added to the shopping cart. The promise of hyper-personalisation that has eluded marketers for years can finally be a reality.

Also read: What business leaders really think about Generative AI

Rapid ideation and experimentation: Gen AI is a great resource for marketers to stay abreast of emerging and changing consumer sentiments, and to test new opportunities to be creative. It is also accelerating idea generation, quickly improving ideas and helping brands speed up time to market. For example, Mattel, for their Hot Wheels product line development used Dall-e to generate four times as many product concept images as before, as also to inspire some of their coolest new features and designs.

Making cocreation easier: Every marketer dreams of bringing in their community of buyers and potential buyers to be part of the brand promotion process and participate in advocating for and cheering the brand. Gen AI is a making this consumer-community flywheel truly work harder and smarter for brands.

For example, we launched #RAFAFOREVER, an AI-first experience to give a billion tennis fans an opportunity to celebrate the greatness of Rafael Nadal, Infosys brand ambassador with a personalized artwork, powered by AI. The creativity it unleashed got thousands of tennis fans to join in the celebration and in the process shone light on the Infosys brand too. And yet, AI is only as good as the humans collaborating with it.

Seasoned marketers have heard this said before, ‘A well-defined brief, is a campaign already half-complete’. Tight problem-framing is half of all creativity, and problem-framing – along with asking difficult questions and factoring in the sensitivities of context – is still firmly in the human domain. That said, gen AI is that wonderful amplifier that allows more and more marketers, to participate in the creative process more easily, in a more mature way.

That’s why it is revolutionizing creativity in marketing and must be added to the power-tools in every marketer’s kit. However, what we know as true creativity – the ability to conceive a unique marketing solution to fit a unique context, something that has never been done before – is no commodity. And not something that gen AI is likely to democratize anytime soon.

Sumit Virmani is the Global Chief Marketing Officer of Infosys. He writes a fortnightly column series 'Brand Breakthroughs’ on Storyboard18.

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