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The AI takeover is here

But it’s not quite as bad as you may think. 

This week, The Unmistakables’ team made their way to Advertising Week Europe to hear about the priorities of leading voices in the marketing industry. Unsurprisingly, AI made up a majority of conversations.

The message was clear. Get your hands on AI tools and start experimenting, or you may be left behind! An approach we have also embraced at The Unmistakables with our own AI innovation team.  Like the internet before it, people are afraid of technological advances, but those who conquer those fears reap the rewards as trailblazers. One of the speakers, Sophie Neary (Managing Director, Retail, and FMCG at Google) put it best:

'Change breeds opportunity, but you have to reach out and take it'

Companies have already begun their journey to understanding how AI can be used effectively within their teams and branding. Salvator Internullo, Chief Growth Officer at MINT, talked about its growing presence in the industry and how AI is already optimising processes, workflows, and spending. Tushar Joshi from Publicis has gone even further, developing platforms that use generative and predictive AI that optimises video production in real time. Generally, there was consensus that AI will bring a rapid change in the job roles of marketers and creatives; instead of erasure, AI will bring evolution. Sophie Neary adds another useful perspective:

'The reality is, you're not competing with AI. You're competing with people using AI better than you'.

But don’t the big data companies hold all the cards in this evolving landscape? 

There was unanimous agreement in AI discussions that data availability is more important than ever for market research. Having larger pools of research and audience data allows for more accurate and impactful analysis, creating efficiencies. We heard from representatives doing work for Cadbury (Simon Crowther), Vodafone (Vanisha Vaghela) and Odeon (Pippa Ward), who had all used AI data-driven insights provided to create more informed campaigns, saving time and money. Their results had all been undeniably positive for the growth of their businesses. 

This also raised questions on issues like bias, which occur within data and impact the decisions made by AI. Hannah Hattie Matthews (co-founder of Uncharted) detailed the ethical challenges present in using AI-sourced data. All data is created by humans with biases, so these biases also play out in the behaviour of AI. While we continue to use AI to move into the future, we’re relying on historical data riddled with inequities. So far, this has allowed biased and harmful AI decisions to be made against historically marginalised and underrepresented communities. Ensuring that DEI is part of the AI conversation is more important than ever. This has been the crux of the work our own AI innovation team has been doing — how do we balance our experimentation with AI with equity?

We’re still very much at the beginning of seeing AI implemented in businesses, what it means for the future is still unclear, but the ride only seems to be picking up speed as we steam ahead. 


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