AI-generated ads are coming

If there’s ever a modern-day Mad Men reboot, it’ll likely feature less cigarette smoking and whiskey drinking, and more inputting prompts into chatbots.

What happened: Meta has begun rolling out AI ad-generation tools to advertisers across its platforms, allowing ad creators to generate backgrounds, automatically adjust creative assets to fit different types of posts, and create and edit multiple versions of ad copy.  

  • The tools will even post separate ads featuring different versions of the text to different people to see which drives better responses.

  • While this is new to Meta, bigger companies have been working with AI to do similar things — none more than Coca-Cola, which teamed up with OpenAI this year. 

Why it matters: By streamlining the ad creation process, generative AI is making it easier and cheaper than ever for advertisers to pump out ads targeting hyper-specific audiences. Half of the advertisers in a Meta test reported they would save a month of time every year. 

  • For example, leading ad firm WPP is working with Nvidia on a program that could let automakers generate ads for local markets without having to shoot in said markets.
  • WPP also worked on a campaign in India with Cadbury that let 2,000 local grocery stores create their own custom ads featuring Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan. 

Bottom line: The next time you see an ad (probably in a few seconds tbh), there’s a good chance AI had a hand in making it.  A study by media agency GroupM predicted that, by the end of this year, AI will “inform or touch in some way” at least half of global ad revenue.—QH