While storming our thoughts towards the term “advertising” we end up with the thought of bunch of extra-ordinary professionals, crazily creative, swapping phrases in enclosed offices sipping coffee all the while. Now, there are claims surfacing that our (humans’) back-up (at the creative end) has been found through technology.
When Dixon Carphone tried to market for Black Friday sale, the company played upon AI software and churned out the thrilling line “The Time Is Now”. Marketing manager, Mr. Saul Lopes considers the absence of string Black Friday to be the real essence and cream of the phrase.
Conversely, all of his copywriters produced numerous lines which were, even though amazing and mentioned the words Black Friday but this is the virtuous technology that violated the chain of thought and got more stuff out-of-the-box.
The software at the core is “Phrasee” created by a Parry Malm, settled in UK but was born in Canada and who is a die-hard believer of ultimate tech potential to simply nudge our creativity.
He clarified, “Getting the right message had been left to the Mad Men type characters. But I wanted to apply scientific rigour to those messages”.
The thing is that in conventional copywriting, we fall back upon the process of creating arguments, editing and seeking these approved while Phrasee accomplishes exact number things but through Deep Learning process. Under Deep Learning, there is a large stack of interconnected parameters with a pre-determined limit, which push the programme in particular direction.
As an outcome, a bunch of words is reflected that is used like a slogan, which is after calulating its impact against large pool of unstructured data collected through many sources.
As an operational instance, at Rapp, which is a marketing agency, Phrasee scans through a million emails that were sent to customers in recent years. Following this, it sorts such sentences in a bid to draft new messages and Rapp’s in-house writers, social media experts and technologists lend their views too.
There is a vast pool of products catering to an even broader customer base and with Phrasee on our side, pertinent phrases are developed to target mainstream audience. Now, in Deep Learning model, slogans and captions used in marketing campaigns earlier, is put across it where values are attached according to specific product attributes such as its look, size, feel, shape etc.
Mr. Lopes confirms the worth of online stores in today’s retail commerce, and how consumers are overwhelmed with a deluge of data-centric and sales-driven messages, making it even tougher for businesses to reach them easily. Now, as Phrasee is replete (i.e. intently programmed) with tremendous linguistic treasure which is way different from what human copywriters perceive and pen-down, Mr. Lopes firmly believes that it provides respite to our jaded eyes.
In short, Phrasee, at Dixons Carphone, simply refines the human approach and words summed up by copywriters, are adapted (some are adopted) by it.
During a recent campaign, Phrasee was used by Mr. Lopes to bring about variations in content which was used in emails in the past decade and recording his experience he said, “what surprises me is that we still see wild cards leaping out from the list of messages it generates”.
Sans doubt, “The Time Is Now” string proved to be a massive success as Dixons Carphone received a huge response from happy customers. Mr. Lopes consoles copywriters that WE shouldn’t be worried about the rapid expansion of AI inour arena and as our potent competitor, “But the human brain can’t look at thousands of options. Our writing team sets out the strategy for the messages, we haven’t replaced them”.
Peering into the future, he comments, “Combining creative people with AI is the next step for the agencies. It’s not the AI versus the human, it generates creative thought”.
This might come as a relief to Ogilvy, the agency founded by advertising legend David Ogilvy. His name invokes brilliant and witty campaigns that inspired generations of copywriters and today Ogilvy bills itself as the teaching hospital of advertising”.
Apparently, the vice-chairman Ogilvy champions the cause of new thinking and fresh ideas about AI technology, but if the spark of creativity is not dampened which is needed to keep customers’ craving alight.
Mr. Rory Sutherland concedes, “AI can’t hurt if it generates interesting suggestions, but it’s like a satnav in a car. Great for directions but you don’t allow it to drive a car”.
He feels troubled that AI tech will be absorbed into organizations to simply spruce things up and to enhance productivity while the “bean counters” will simply overlook the opportunities to drive innovation. His words smack of concerns, “These things tend to be viewed through an efficiency lens”.
About advertising, Mr. Sutherland says, “is about producing something distinctive. It’s not the production line”.
Now, as Phrasee can instantly scans through the copywriter’s output on a large scale, it raises his eyebrows further up. He verifies, ”My only reservation about using AI is that people will afford it more power and influence than it deserves in an attempt to automate things, to realise the Fordist dream of multiple copies rolling off an assembly line”.
He now stands in support of express human creativity and credits his writers fir thousands of slogans and marketing content but is still willing to heed anyone with a different opinion regarding the connotation of word in a different culture.
Clearly, technology can be accommodated on this planet as a third party entity but people like Mr. Sutherland won’t allow it to be a game-changer. He opines, ”As a stimulus suggesting ideas, it has a great future. As a source of judgement, its dubious”.
Getting back to Dixon Carphone, at their office, Mr. Lopes and his team put great efforts to outperform software. There is held contest to think the winning line from their digital colleague Phrasee. He says, ”it’s an internal game, we do it just before we push every new message out. And we always lost to computer!!!”.
Running one of the leading web design agencies in Delhi NCR, I have been managing the cutting edge technology and subsequent innovation brought therein from time to time, right from the beginning. Here, I have tried to depict the necessity of having a business websites and to have them designed to meet the latest objectives of the present day environment.