What Qualifies as an AI-Made Ad?

We're seeing a lot of headlines in the press about films and commercials that are 'created by AI' and raise 'ethical questions', such as this AdAge article about Under Armour. It goes as far as saying that "directors could soon become superfluous".

Well, if we're going to get 'hoity-toity' about the use of AI, then we better have a damn good definition of what constitutes an AI-driven ad.

For this article, I'm going to use a '1 minute film' as the ad example. But, it could be a social asset, a promo video, a landing page. You get the point.

So, what could be considered an AI ad?

  • Is it made 100% with AI? Concept, script, storyboards, the film itself (Sora), and the editing, music and VO are all created with AI.
  • Or, 50% with AI? Perhaps the script, storyboards, music and VO are created with AI, but the concept, shoot itself, and editing is done by humans.
  • Or, is it just a single piece of AI used in the process? For example, the VO was done with AI.

I don't have a definitive answer. But, I am encouraging us to be very careful with our definition of an 'ai ad' and not lump it all together.

In the case of the AdAge article, it falls somewhere between the second and third bullet point.

  • Concept made by a human
  • Directed by a human
  • AI-generated VO
  • Cutaway clips, such as the giant stone of Joshua in the desert and then very fast, 1-second moments—to be kind, I'm assuming most of this involves AI, or at least AI-based assets, while also assuming significant human CGI skills were involved.
  • More complicated live-action elements were shot in the past, and they add a styled sheen (assuming this is not AI). I'd assume live action shots are 40% of the video.
  • Music and sound design seem super customized, and from our experience, that means it wasn't AI.

Here's a link to the ad.

My analysis of the ad is based on our experience making AI projects, along with Director Wes Walker's breakdown on Instagram, where you can also draw hints from the credits involved (CGI and music companies etc.).

So why is it so important to define an AI ad?

Because if we bundle it together and decry AI will replace 95% of advertising jobs, the role of the director, and human creativity, then we're seriously lacking nuance.

The result?

  • We create anxiety, spread misinformation, and create unnecessary panic.
  • We're evangelizing those folk that fear AI.
  • And, we're discouraging folks from having a positive relationship with AI.

If we're not debating AI in the realm of reality, then we'll never use it to its full and amazing potential.

My unsolicited definition?

I think we need to introduce some clarifying words into the equation: 

  • AI co-created: there is just a single piece of AI used in the process.
  • AI-driven: at least 50% made with AI.
  • AI-generated: 100% created with AI.


#AI #Marketing #ContentCreation #Production #DigitalAdvertising #Innovation #Technology #AdvertisingTrends #CreativeIndustry

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