July 10, 2016

The Rise of the AI Adbot

4A's members have a lot on their minds. From transparency to agency compensation to labor laws ... not to mention emerging technology. Here VML's Director of Creative Technology NA, Craig Elimeliah, shares his thoughts on the AI Adbot. In a few words, agencies have nothing to fear from bots but fear itself. Elimeliah joined VML after a stint at Rapp. He works out of VML's New York City office and oversees such accounts as Dell, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, Motorola, S&P and Xerox.

Copywriters Rejoice!

I am just going to say it, it was getting a bit uncomfortable for all the writers in the room.

Things went from scripted to unscripted, then from linear to non-linear and none of us were quite sure exactly where the digital copywriter would evolve into inside of this whole digital shakeup that has thrown the entire Bernbachian ad industry structure into a tussle.

Fear not my beloved wordsmiths, the digerati have a need for your artful skill after all.

Enter the AI Adbot

What a wonderful time to be in advertising.

We have gated communities of consumers chomping at the bit to tell us what they want and what they need. They are policing companies and brands to make sure that they and we are staying true to our promises.

Each one of those wonderful consumers now armed with a device in hand, and another strapped to some part of their body, so eager and addressable.

We've now got so many new channels, from 140 characters to augmented reality videos that self-destruct to live streaming and even entire worlds that we can build for people to step into.

And now we have AI Bots.

Not just any AI bots but AI Adbots.

Automated pitch personalities that can interact with anyone anywhere they go and offer them all kinds of advice, help, discounts, service, whatever they need in the exact time, channel and tone of the beloved brand the bot represents.

Imagine being able to text the Michelin Man when you have got a flat tire and he not only sends you help and a fresh pair of tires but also offers you empathy and encouragement in your time of need &emdash; In the only way a man made of tires can.

Imagine Tony the Tiger sending you Snapchats about how grrrrreat!!! you are in the morning right after a bowl of your favorite flakes.

What if the Pillsbury Doughboy started sharing those amazing mini food recipes curated just for you through Facebook Messenger and then you can both have a giggle when he decides to invite you to his live stream to check out his latest dish?

And who couldn't use some snark every now and then from that cheeky little Gecko who just so happens to peddle car insurance on the side?

This is fun, I'm just going to do a few more.

Captain Morgan seems like a standup guy who could probably help guide you and your friends to some of the best pubs in town but he also seems like a responsible voice of reason when it's time to say enough is enough and call you an Uber to come pick you up when it might be unsafe to drive.

Julius Pringles. His chips so neatly stacked, each one so uniformly exact, now if he could only help those 18-26-year-old, single men, living in urban, small shared spaces with helpful hints on how to keep their side of the room as tidy as his chips.

Ok. Enough... You get it. I hope.

Artificial Intelligence has arrived in the form of an artificially intelligent Adbot that can emulate the way we are already communicating with each other on our favorite mobile, social, desktop, VR or holographic channels.

Now let's get to the most important question burning through our collective ego.

What Does All of This Mean for Advertising?

Let's start with an idea.

Reincarnating one of our beloved brand mascots as an artificially intelligent Adbot who can follow and be followed, befriend, unfriend, comment, learn and evolve with each and every person it interacts with.

This Adbot can be deployed to any number of networks including what I soon expect to be a much more personalized TV experience.

Each one of these networks adds more and more dimensionality for our Adbot to express their brand personality through the lenses of platform interaction offered across the networks. Like us, this Adbot starts to learn all of the quirky nuances of these networks and can emulate behavior that it thinks we would enjoy interacting with.

Sounds pretty crazy, doesn't it? Well, get used to it. AI Adbots are doing things like callbacks and sending us curated products with custom URL buttons, setting location permissions and on-the-fly message editing. I've seen AI bots generate or curate almost any type of content for the user to share with their friends, including documents, MP3s, videos, stickers, animations and even contacts.

An AI Adbot can even be a connection for people looking for conversation partners based on common interests or proximity.

Obviously, all on brand.

So, let's circle back to how we started this whole conversation (yes, I am human, and no, a bot did not write this piece). It was telling copywriters to rejoice.

Rejoice because your wonderful ability to craft characters beyond the dimension of your art director's photoshop abilities has finally arrived.

The canvas you have been waiting for is now waiting for you.

You better start to cozy up to your agency's creative technologist because that person is going to be your new best friend as they help to build and construct all kinds of AI Adbots for you to pour personality into.

Here is a peek into all of the wonderful kinds of bots that are available to be interacted with on almost every platform you can think of and I am sure upon perusing this list all kinds of wonderful ideas will start to come to life in how, you too my friend, can bring to life some aspect of your brand's personality so that consumers can all enjoy or become annoyed with how well it gets to know them.

This content appeared previously on: 4A's Blog