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Image of computer editing screen Photo by Skye Studios on Unsplash

AI and the dramatic increase in working media in advertising

Prediction 6 - In 2024, AI will help marketers save millions from streamlined production processes, allowing them to invest more in distribution.

AI wasn’t new in 2022, but that didn’t prevent the sense of shock and awe that hit the ad industry when ChatGPT landed with a bang in November that year.

And yet it was arguably Midjourney's debut a few months earlier that truly heralded a new era for creatives.

By July 2023, Everypixel estimated that in the past year, over 150 billion AI-generated images had been created. It supposedly took humans 150 years to amass just 10% of that.

And so, as we enter 2024 - with Adland slowly coming to terms with this creative upheaval - more marketers will inevitably be asking what savings can be made through the streamlined production processes made possible by AI.

Understandably so:

  • Post-production techniques such as editing, colour correction, and sound design will be dramatically simplified.

  • Addressable ads can be made much more addressable through AI-generated text and images.

  • Expensive reshoots ordinarily required for script changes will be eliminated by synthesised speech and language localisation.

And given the developments over the past 18 months, we should expect even more milestones throughout the coming year. After all - as Wright’s Law suggests – as production volume increases and the industry learns to improve processes, costs fall and quality improves more quickly. (As per the visual - the rate of this reduction is known as the learning curve.)

The imperative, therefore, is for brands to embrace a strategy of continuous testing and adaptation in AI production. Early adopters stand to gain a competitive edge, as they will be the first to refine and perfect the use of AI in their creative processes.

Our provocation is that the greater the savings in production, the greater the budget available for distribution. While we might have previously seen an 80:20 split between media and creative - based on modelling by EssenceMediacom’s Media Mix Navigator, if production costs drop by a quarter, advertisers could reallocate that budget to generate up to a 5% increase in advertising-driven revenue.

For small brands, this could unlock tantalising opportunities to innovate in media. For big spenders, it could amount to tens of millions of pounds to allocate across many more brands and products.

Investing into a new channel - or one with under-utilised headroom - could be massively more effective than pro-rata-ing budgets up or down or, worse, surrendering them back to the finance department.