Thought Leadership

Should the industry be doing more to embrace AI?

How can the industry better embrace the opportunities afforded by AI, while also protecting the unique lens of human-centric creativity?

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


Love it or loathe it, people can’t seem to stop talking about AI.

There has been outrage towards ad campaigns that hide the use of AI in executions such as Gymbox’s aerial bus campaign. While there have been campaigns such as VMLY&R Health’s breast cancer awareness campaign for Gilead and Virtue's anti-face tracking activism that show how AI can be used as a tool to drive creative excellence. Even beyond the creative, AI technology has the power to automate tasks, mock-up executions and unlock new opportunities.

Yet for all its possibilities the technology is developing at pace, with regulatory and ethical considerations struggling to keep up. The rapid advancement of technology has meant that just this week, the Advertising Association has launched a new AI Taskforce to help define policy, safeguarding and guidelines. A move which helps to ensure that the use of AI in advertising is transparent and legal, honest, and truthful.

Still fairly in its infancy AI technology has the potential to enhance creative careers. Yet maintaining a test-and-learn mindset and being aware of the limitations or negative impacts of AI can ensure it will be used in the most effective, positive way. We asked industry experts, should the industry be doing more to learn from and lean into the possibilities afforded by artificial intelligence.

Jack Sails

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Innovation Director


We should be seeing AI in the creative process as that fancy kitchen gadget. The one you privately first thought was a bit gimmicky. Initially, it appears unnecessary, even showy; flying in the face of honed skill and practice. But when it helps you cook that steak to perfection or gets that cake to rise just right, it isn’t leaving your kitchen.

We've all marvelled at examples of AI crafting elaborate, creative concoctions – the equivalent of culinary masterpieces. While they’re impressive, it sometimes feels like using a food processor to make a sarnie.

What people often miss are the quieter, yet significant ways that AI assists our everyday creative 'cooking'—a quiet humming in the background that makes the process just a bit smoother.

AI isn't here to take over as the head chef, and it isn’t going to replicate our creative human prowess. It's more akin to that trusty Kitchen Aid—there when we need an extra hand to mix the batter or keep an eye on the simmering sauce.

Looking forward, the narrative isn't about AI donning the chef's whites and commandeering the creative kitchen. It's about the subtle yet vital role AI can play, ever-ready to help us rustle up something extraordinary. Our journey isn't towards an AI-dominated feast, but a smorgasbord where human creativity and AI's capabilities blend, serving up a rich, varied, and tantalising creative buffet for us all to enjoy.

As creatives, it's our responsibility to understand AI's potential and how we can utilise it to everyone's benefit. Natural – and at times, reasonable scepticism – shouldn't be treated as a red flag suggesting AI is malevolent or unsuitable for our industry. Instead, knowledge is power, and we should equip ourselves to coexist with AI, leveraging its potential to open doors for us all. After all, AI won’t take your job. But someone that’s using it to its full potential just might.

Kate Ross

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Managing Director



Pretty obvious I think. If you’re not even curious about it, then you probably shouldn’t be in marketing.

AI is a siren call to the very soul of our industry – is this the end of human-resourced marketing services? If it is, then what does that say about the state of our industry? That we can be replaced by the 2023 version of a conveyor belt? God help us.

Some soul searching is required. Generative AI will radically upturn marketing outfits that churn out generic, repetitive marketing content. And we’re all guilty of that at times.

Embrace it, and it will radically push you to more ambitious creative solutions. I believe it will save the marketing industry from the wasteland created by the advent of the digital era, and all its casualties: long-term brand building, coherent brand thinking, simple customer truths.

Use it not to focus on the coalface of the creative solution; “write me a tagline”, “write me a blog post”. AI nicks your job off the bat that way. Instead use its creative abilities to step a few paces back from the creative solution, and blow your imagination up. Ask it “what would happen if children took over the World for a day?” on your next toy client. Ask it “what would have happened in the 20th century if cars were never invented?” on your next automotive client.

Tamryn Kerr

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Co-Founder and CCO


If the industry isn't leaning into AI as much as creators are then it should prepare to be left behind. AI technology is here, it’s readily available and it has few barriers to entry. If people with no previous creative or production experience are doing new and interesting things with AI then imagine what our industry can achieve with it.

Focussing on the positives for a second, the industry should be looking at AI as an incredible opportunity to create advertising at the speed of culture. As a creative, you could actually make ideas that would once have been shelved due to lack of time or budget. As a production company, embracing advanced new tools could lead to making more ambitious work. As a brand, it opens up the chance to test and learn by producing multiple ads. Those are just a few examples, but in reality we’ve only really scratched the surface of the opportunities this tech will create for us as an industry. Combining the latest AI tech, human insight and the creative talent of our industry will open up a world of new and exciting ideas.

As an agency, we’ve been using AI since our doors first opened. We’re finding positive applications for the tech both in the work we create and also in helping with our day-to-day workflow. We believe that AI is an incredible tool for agencies to use, but like any new tech it’s not perfect. That's where us humans come in.

Jonathan Plackett

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Senior Creative Technologist + Creative Developer

Wieden + Kennedy London

TLDR: Yes, but let's use it for a race to the top, not to the bottom.

Even in this very early state, generative AI is world-changing. Things that seemed like sci-fi a year ago are not only possible but trivial. The rate of improvement is as terrifying as it is exciting. The versions we have now are the worst they'll ever be.

Any company in any industry not keeping up, especially as these technologies advance further, will be in trouble.

So the question isn't if we should be using AI; it's how and to what end.

Image generation tools like Midjourney and Stable Diffusion are the lowest hanging fruit, which can massively speed up creative development, helping creatives visualise and bring ideas to life. But AI can be used at virtually every other point in the creative journey. Research companies use ChatGPT to talk to 1000s of customers simultaneously and then use AI to organise these chats into quantitative data. Production companies are embracing AI within their workflows.

It's unarguable at this point that AI can improve efficiency.

But… let's not make efficiency our only goal.

Instead of thinking of how we can make the current creative system marginally faster and cheaper. Let's try to imagine what can be done with generative AI that was previously impossible.

AI will shake up the world and our industry along with it. Let's use it for a race to the top, not to the bottom.

Natasha Denby-Stein

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Senior Creative Copywriter


The integration of artificial intelligence into the creative process has sparked both excitement and apprehension within the industry. We’re already seeing some cut-throat moves, with some firms ‘indefinitely’ discontinuing the use of third-party copywriters and designers in favour of generative AI technologies, raising concerns about the impact on jobs.

Ethical considerations must always remain at the forefront of the approach, but media agencies should invest in upskilling their creative teams to collaborate effectively with AI tools. Education and training will empower creatives to harness their potential and create a synergy that maximises the value of both human creativity and machine intelligence. Rather than acting as a crutch to lean on when productivity stalls, AI tools need to be integrated into the workflow, with dedicated time and clearly defined tasks within the creative process. With the power of AI, content creation, for example, becomes automated and optimised, freeing creatives to focus on what truly ignites their brilliance. This should include overseeing the copy generated by AI and ensuring it aligns perfectly with the brand's tone of voice guidelines.

The real potential lies in harmonious collaboration between AI and human input. When properly integrated into a media agency's workflow, AI can augment and enhance the creative process rather than replace it. The future lies in harnessing the power of AI to unleash the full potential of human ingenuity, redefining the boundaries of creative excellence in media agencies.

Sefi Carmel

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Artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionise the advertising and creative sectors in ways which are both supportive and advantageous to those already working in the industry. Take music licensing for example – in the past, synch licensing for TV, advertisements, and other creative endeavours was a time-consuming process for everyone involved. I’m sure many of you are familiar with the extensive walls of production music CDs, or more recently with the various online platforms and libraries. Listening to thousands of tracks to find the right one is a tedious process – I know, I’ve done it countless times – and negotiating licence terms, or understanding music licensing in general, can be daunting and bureaucratic.

On the flipside, for up-and-coming musicians who are looking to get placements in high-quality synch opportunities, the current state of the industry is difficult to navigate at best, with shrinking budgets, tighter deadlines, and less transparency as to who the musician, composer, songwriter, or artist is. Artificial intelligence has the power to transform this, with platforms able to provide direct connections, powered by machine learning, to upcoming musical talent for advertising agencies, brands, and production studios.

The SphereTrax platform is an example of these cutting-edge technologies in action. With a simple copy-paste of a creative brief, users can instantly get curated searches using SphereTrax’s assistive AI, allowing for faster results in a world of tighter deadlines, with music from working, performing artists across the globe. It’s the best of both worlds - the time-saving magic of AI, with the refined, engaging work of human musicians.

As a creative, it’s easy to be intimidated by the advent of generative AI platforms - and rightly so – but with the growing presence of assistive AI tools across the industry, there may be a future where artists are empowered by machines, not replaced.

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