‘AI is beginning to blur the lines between reality and fantasy’

How creatives can embrace platforms to harness creativity

Katie Peake

Creative Director and Founder Backlash


Ai has seen huge developments in recent months and is now at the forefront of a lot of conversations especially in the creative industries.

The majority of these developments have come from the company OpenAI, their open source platform allows for anyone around the world to produce code in order to advance its system. The two biggest outcomes of this have been ChatGPT and DALL-E.

Undeniably Ai is here to stay and we feel as creatives we have to embrace the various platforms to understand what it can offer and how it’ll shape the future of different brands.

Having seen a lot of Ai generated art as well as conceptual pop-up shops appear over linkedin shared thousands of times by fellow industry professionals it can feel threatening to think that Ai could start putting us out of the job.

However as creatives we need to realise that the designs generated are in fact just generated. Ai and ChatGPT are built to mimic people.

From the perspective of a Creative Director, good creatives and designers are easy to spot regardless of what technology or software they are using. It is about how creatives and designers respond to ideas and briefs whether they are able to develop original thoughts on their own.

However, Ai is beginning to blur the lines between reality and fantasy. For example Jacquemus the french fashion brand has recently been using Ai and digital to its advantage and also a great example of how brands can be reactive to this technology and use it to their advantage. In particular I'm thinking about the short video of Jacquemus bags driving around Paris. Which was so hyper realistic we had clients ask us how Jaquemeus pulled off turning vehicles into huge bags, if we could do something similar and what possibly could be their budget. This however was a piece of digital art created by @Origiful

Studio Snoop recently unveiled Tilly Talbot the world's first Ai Designer who works in collaboration with the design team as a sounding board challenging designers on materials they might consider using and also informing the team if a design or material could be harmful to the environment. This is a great example of how Ai can work with creatives to create solutions quickly.

Is Ai being used as a gimmick or does it have real tangible use for brands?

Katie Peake, Creative Director and Founder at Backlash

In February I was at the EuroShop in Dusseldorf which is a notable exhibition and festival demonstrating the latest technologies to support retail. Amongst the vendors was a huge stand that was designed by Ai. It begs the question is Ai being used as a gimmick or does it have real tangible use for brands?

How can we as creatives harness this tech - but also harness the technology in real life not just hidden behind a screen?. I think a really good application for this could be to create completely unique shareable moments from any digital content we create at future events. Photo Ops are such a big part of any event we put on. By enhancing the content taken at these with AiI we can give the users their regular photo but also something completely new. This could be a digital character version of the photo they’ve taken or by putting them in an unimaginable world.

Gone are the days of adding a sepia filter to your image and uploading it to instagram or simple photo booth totem - audiences are seeking new shareable content when they attend events.

Filters are no longer a post processing feature, they happen live and they are getting smarter.

A large sector we work across is beauty and makeup and we are seeing the beginnings of Ai and facial recognition now applying full makeup looks to its users and people are using these to recreate them in real life.

Chat GPT can also be used by creatives and advertisers as well as brands to stay up to date on latest trends in their industry. By analysing social media posts, news articles and other sources of information Chat GPT can provide insights into what's trending and what's likely to be popular in the near future.

If used in the right way, ChatGPT and Ai could benefit creatives, offering more opportunities rather than less. When the generator helps with basic ideation or problem solving with copy lines, it gives us more time and space to come up with more unique ideas. Creativity should be about engaging with concepts, and the future of creative roles will be in this evolution and adapting to think differently creating unique ideas and experiences - not mimicking what is around us like Ai.

Ai is here to stay and as a Creative Director I welcome it. It’s an invaluable tool that we can use to inspire us and support us to be better designers, better creative thinkers and give us different perspectives to creative problems. 

Guest Author

Katie Peake

Creative Director and Founder Backlash


I’m Creative Director and founder of Backlash, a brand experience agency that specialises in retail and beauty. I lead the creative vision of the business and the work we create for clients. I have been in the industry for 15 years, starting out as a designer for a shopper marketing agency working for FMCG brands such as Asda and Greggs. I then progressed into a range of art director roles where I discovered experiential and brand experiences. This wasn’t a well-known form of marketing at the time. I loved experiential and retail so much that I actively looked for roles in that industry. I became Creative Director of an agency, heading up the experiential arm - Coca-Cola became a multi-million pound experiential client with best in class creative that was recognised worldwide. Being incredibly passionate about the experiential industry, six years ago I set up Backlash with my two business partners and I haven’t looked back!

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