The use of Artificial intelligence in marketing is becoming increasingly powerful. Find out how we recently created a series of AI generated imagery for a recent campaign and read our 5 top tips on using AI generated imagery.
We recently created some campaign imagery for The UK Sports Institute using a combination of AI generated imagery, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. It's the first time we have used AI generated imagery as part of a live campaign so we thought it could be beneficial to other marketing departments and creatives to understand how and why we used AI generated imagery in this instance.
First of all, we pitched around 6 different ideas for this Hay Fever campaign and the other concepts didn't use any AI generated imagery, it just happened that the client loved how distinctive and unique these images were and how they conveyed the sense of being overwhelmed by seasonal hay fever at a quick glance.
We're aware of how provocative the introduction of AI generated creativity can be to some (whether that is copywriting, imagery, music or video). And we're super clear that we just see it as another tool in our visual communications arsenal. We pride ourselves on using all visual styles from hand drawn sketches, slick 3D, high end photography, collage, line art, vector etc (plus all forms of video production and moving image). AI is just another tool in that mix.
With regards to this hay fever campaign, from a creative point of view, we still had to come up with the concept and the visual styling and ensure that the right mix of athletes were represented. There was also a significant amount of touching up, re-compositing and making sure the athletes were anatomically correct! For whatever reason AI currently struggles with anatomy - giving people more fingers, removing legs and arms or even adding in extra body parts.
Without AI we would have to use a mixture of studio photography, intense photoshopping or in-camera techniques which all would have been too cost-prohibitive and taken too much time for the requirements of this brief. So in this instance, AI made sense for this project. Delivering some unique visuals that drive home the message in memorable and engaging manner.
Just because AI generated imagery is now more accessible it doesn't mean it is necessarily the right approach for your campaign...
So here are our 6 top tips to consider when thinking about using AI generated imagery for your campaign:
• Remember the idea still needs to be compelling. Just because something generated by AI looks unusual and unique doesn't necessarily translate into conveying your intended message in a memorable way.
• Remember AI imagery can have a certain aesthetic - it can be very synthetic, 'computer-gamey', artificial and in many cases feel removed from real human input which can distance the viewer. Consider your AI prompts to get away from the synthetic 'photo realistic' style into something more illustrative and original.
• Don't overuse AI. 'People buy from people' and by flooding your marketing channels with AI generated imagery that authentic human touch and relationship building with your customers can be lost.
• Consider how your copy and layout compliment your AI imagery and the intended messaging of the campaign.
• Remember AI still needs creative input, repeated iterations and post-production work afterwards. It may also be a real challenge to create a suite of imagery with the same character/objects in them. Unlike a series of bespoke imagery created on a photoshoot, produced by a 3D designer or digital artist where you will get EXACTLY what you want and multiple variations of a series that perfectly suite together.
• Finally, consider the ethical and commercial impact of using AI generated content. As with all emerging AI platforms (Chat GPT being the most popular) there are lots of potential ethical challenges around plagiarism, intellectual property, misuse, and the potential to generate misinformation, fake news, or misleading content.
However, as with all AI that we are now seeing become more widespread, the 'cat is well and truly out of the bag' within the creative industry. So it is not a case of IF you are going to start harnessing these tools for your marketing materials, but how and when.