Don't worry creators, AI isn't coming for your job (yet)

image of a sunset with computer generated hills
(Image credit: Artur Debat via Getty Images)

In today's marketing landscape, the influence of generative AI is undeniable. ChatGPT has already surpassed 100 million monthly active users – something that took even industry giants like Netflix a decade to accomplish. With the mounting pressure to demonstrate ROI and deliver high-quality work within tighter budgets and timelines, the capabilities of generative AI couldn't have come at a more important moment for marketers.

So, how can marketers and creative teams fully embrace AI as an integral part of their marketing strategies and a valuable ally in creating unforgettable brand experiences? And how can the best AI art generators help things along?

01. Get inspired 

At its current stage, AI can save marketers time, money, and stress in the creative process. By leveraging its ability to process vast amounts of data, recognise patterns, and generate novel content, AI can turn one-line thoughts into real-life creative content that would have taken weeks to develop otherwise. 

Using algorithms and deep learning techniques, AI systems can analyse various artistic styles, techniques, and themes to generate original pieces of art, from visual creations to music and even video. Not only does it offer creatives fresh sources of inspiration, but it also opens up possibilities for unique collaborations between humans and AI.

It has even eliminated the need for traditional 'rough' drafts, replacing them with high-quality, original copy that can be tailored to suit a brand's unique voice. 

Whether you're a copywriter, designer, or brand strategist, it's hard to overlook the benefits that AI brings to your day to day.

02. Realise it's not perfect

To understand the capabilities of AI in the creative process, we conducted an experiment utilising OpenAI's ChatGPT and DALL·E 2 (here's how to use DALL·E 2 if you're not sure).

The AI models were tasked with creating seven trendy products from scratch, complete with packaging and descriptions. We then subjected the AI-generated concepts to rigorous evaluation by testing them with 300 consumers in the United States to assess their believability and effectiveness. 

While the results were intriguing, they were far from outstanding. Consumers did not recognise these products as AI-generated, but they failed to resonate, scoring in the bottom-third of every product Zappi has tested to date – over 100,000 and counting. It highlighted a significant shortcoming in AI and its lack of essential understanding of our human connection. Despite visually appealing designs and descriptive language, they fell short of captivating consumers' attention and interest.

03. Add the human touch

Our AI tests proved that the technology still requires human supervision and involvement to be truly effective. While it might be able to tell stories by predicting the most likely words to follow, it lacks that genuine connection to our human experiences.

You might have seen the AI generated beer commercial ‘Synthetic Summer’, which went viral for its likeness to typical beer ads. While the video starts off well, with good-looking people having a great time drinking beer against the backdrop of a barbecue, it becomes more unnerving as time goes on. One journalist even described it as “the stuff of nightmares” detailing how the backdrop turns darker, the background music becomes a distorted version of Smash Mouth’s song ‘All Star’, and the barbecue develops into a fully fledged blaze.

It’s a great example of where AI’s strength lies, and where it needs that human touch to deliver something that feels genuine and reflective of the human experience.

04. Use it to your advantage

Coca Cola spends an average of $4 billion a year on its advertising worldwide - a sum that even some of the world’s biggest brands can only dream of spending on just advertising. 

One of the most remarkable aspects of AI lies in its potential to democratise access to these high-value marketing opportunities, making it possible for smaller brands to compete with consumer giants in reaching consumers. AI is effectively evening the playing field for brands that rely heavily on marketing.

By leveraging AI as a valuable asset for copywriting and design, with marketing leaders acting as guardians of the brand ethos, emerging brands can effectively compete for market share. 

Because generative AI currently just collates already existing material, it is still very much reliant on humans and human creativity. Therefore, brand marketers should seize the opportunity to experiment with and understand these tools before they become a necessity. While AI hasn't reached the point of replacing marketers (yet), it's crucial for them to understand and harness its potential. 

Instead of fearing the unknown, marketers should embrace AI as a valuable ally in crafting compelling brand experiences. Without change, innovation is impossible, and AI could very well be the transformative force marketers have been seeking. Therefore, it is imperative for marketers to explore and master AI tools while they still have the chance, ensuring they stay ahead of the game.

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Steve Phillips
Co-founder and CEO, Zappi

Steve Phillips is the co-founder and CEO of Zappi, the world’s leading consumer insights platform built for brands. With more than 20 years of experience demystifying consumer insights, Steve founded Zappi in 2012 to digitise market research and empower creators with data to inspire, optimise and validate their best ideas.