The advertising industry is at a crossroads of creativity, as our physical world increasingly merges with the virtual world.
A few years ago, it was big data, but now it is artificial intelligence (AI) and the metaverse on the minds of many creatives.
But are they friend or foe, as brands struggle to engage consumers through original and personalized content?
“I believe AI will make everything a little bit better,” Raphael De Andrés, president and CEO of Havas Village France, told Euronews Next at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
“But as an agency, our duty as a creative agency is to find amazing ideas that AI can’t find on its own. I think it can kill some agencies… but the agencies that who are strong, who are courageous enough to go to the next level, I think it’s a great opportunity. But it’s a challenge.”
Nearly two-thirds of respondents to the State of Creativity Study 2023, released by Cannes Lions, named AI as the most important technology trend this year.
Other research suggests that by 2025, 30 percent of all outbound marketing messages from large brands will be from generic AI, which can create text, images or other media content by responding to prompts.
dangers of over-regulation
Regulators are bracing for increased deployment of the technology, with European lawmakers earlier this month signing off on the world’s first set of sweeping rules for its use.
“The opportunity for Europe at the moment is that AI is like a blank sheet in terms of technology. We have a great card to play, but if we get bogged down, too bogged down in regulation, then in Europe it’s fair New opportunities will not be shared,” De Andreas warned.
a hybrid world?
The metaverse, which has long promised to transport us into a new reality, presents all kinds of new opportunities for advertisers, marketers, and the media. But there is a growing feeling that it is not living up to all the hype.
That hasn’t stopped some brands from trying it, including in the travel and tourism business, where there is an appetite for new, unique guest experiences and hyper-personalization of services.
De Andreas said, “The metaverse is a complicated question. To be honest, I think it’s not yet what we thought it would be a year ago.”
“But I believe in a hybrid model, and I think that virtual images in the real world, will be a significant change in our industry. But the metaverse as a closed world, 100 percent virtual, is not very clear to me” .
The ‘Tinderization’ Effect
As virtual technology becomes increasingly physical, DeAndreis compares the evolving environment to the dating platform Tinder.
“I think the world is in a mood for ‘Tinderization’, which is things that start virtually and end in real life or start in real life and then end virtually. It’s not two worlds anymore who live separately from each other,” D’Andreas said.
“I think technology can leverage human relationships and human relationships can be easily leveraged by new technological solutions and applications”.
being transparent with consumers
This year’s Cannes Lions event welcomed its first virtual influencer to the stage in the form of ‘Ray’, an online hit from Asia. Taking on real-life influencers who some would say have lost their way lately, some brands are betting on their virtual rivals.
But will consumers love computer-generated characters in the long run? Specifically developing AI will make it even more difficult for them to identify what is real and what is fake in the future.
“I believe that the more complex, the more hazy the world of communication and media is, the clearer we must be on the contract we sign with the audience. So, who are you, what Are you real, are you virtual, what is your expertise, where does your data come from,” D’Andreas insisted.
“As long as you meet all of these criteria, I believe there is a huge space for virtual, but you have to know they are virtual,” he said.
For more from this interview at the 2023 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, watch the video in the media player above.