IDSD Breakout Session: Building Brands in the Age of AI
May 20, 2019
AcuityAds sponsored IDSD (SDX Interactive Day San Diego) last week to connect with brands, agencies and entrepreneurs in the marketing and advertising community. Leading trailblazers in brand, marketing, tech, and digital shared their inspiring stories that are shaping the future of our industry. We sat in with Michael D. Andrew, VP of Strategy & Growth at Salesforce, for his session “Building Brands in the Age of AI”. Michael walked us through his perspective of what is happening in the world of AI and what it means in a brand context.
Many people think of AI and automation as an army of robots – in an operational context. But today, we are beginning to see elements of robotics and AI directly interfacing with consumers. Lowe’s for instance has a helpful robot that can assist you in finding products in the expansive store. In China, they are experimenting with robots that deliver your food and cook your meals. Our phones already use AI response to recognize if we are driving (with “do not disturb” alerts) as well as to “guess” what our text messages are going to say to then recommend words. From “Alexa” to advanced home security systems, we are living in the age of AI.
What does it mean to live in the age of AI?
Our digital age is all about trying to attract attention in a cluttered landscape. We have the same scale that we had in the old days of, say, broadcasting – but now consumers are able to fully respond to AI. It changes the paradigm on how brands need to think. What’s causing this shift? For starters, computing power is huge now – and the amount of data has grown exponentially. In addition, everything is becoming media. In a quickly evolving automated landscape, it is important that brands contextualize the AI experience for consumers.
How do you build AI?
It starts with senses. AI must be able to sense the world, make a decision, and have an identity (that it can express). Algorithms can now detect micro facial expressions to recognize faces. It learns to mimic.
And it’s not just our senses, computers can also sense through data. AI also has to have a memory. For instance, when you login to Netflix, it remembers what you watched and makes recommendations based on those things. Your fitbit band knows that you have been sitting too long and alerts you to get up and start moving. It also has to have decisioning capability. Companies like Sentient have an AI that recommends eyewear options based on your choices, and how you hover your mouse, to give you an almost in-store experience. Google’s AI “Alpha Go” has decisioning science that is so advanced that it was trained to play itself in 300 million games of chess and then competed with and beat the world’s best (human) chess player!
How do you wrap that decision in a brand identity? There are lots of ways for a brand to be personified. It’s all about how creativity can be expressed. It starts with the consumer having input, then the machine has to sense and have memory to make a calculated decision that is then shown through a particular brands identity.
That’s a mouthful – so let’s break it down with an example! The hit show Stranger Things on Netflix had different title covers that were generated by AI (Netflix AVA).
The algorithm learned to understand what was in the frame of each episode and reject or approve image shots (discarding ones that were blurry, etc). It had memory of who the actors were, knew what common objects were, and then made a decision on how interesting would this frame be for a viewer.
In summation, Michael left us with this: Imagine if creatives are those who create the AI. Imagine if the future job of the CMO is to manage the brands AI. Imagine a world where there is no advertising because every experience is interactive.
Not only will AI and machine learning improve the efficacy and efficiency of your media buys, but it’ll save you a lot of time along the way. At AcuityAds, our decision science-fueled algorithm helps marketing campaigns to shorten the consumer journey by optimizing towards the shortest path-to-conversion. Consumers are mapped across a wide array of devices and platforms, and our AI helps to choose the ad format that best serves the specific campaign. Our technology sees algorithmic optimization of the consumer journey by understanding the best sequence of creatives to expedite the conversion process. The result is a smarter, faster, more efficient way to connect with audiences.
Check out our Events Page to see where we will be next!