The use of AI (artificial intelligence) tools for advertising is a polarizing topic; depending on who you ask, it’s either going to take away all our jobs or make our jobs a cakewalk. In all likelihood, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
At Brogan & Partners, we try to stay on top of the latest tools, technologies, and media. So, our intrepid art directors and writers have ventured into the world of AI to see what it can do for us and our clients. We’ve had some hits…and a few misses. Here are some examples of both.
AI tools for art directors
The hype: All you have to do is describe the image you want, and poof! AI creates it for you.
The reality: Well, sometimes. But most times, it takes quite a few prompts to get it right. You’ll have to keep rewording and refining your prompt until the tool finally gets it. And sometimes, it never really does. Our art directors have experimented with AI platforms with varying degrees of success.
This striking image of a woman up to her neck in water, used in a storyboard for a nonprofit organization, is a great example of how AI can help creative teams develop attention-grabbing visuals—visuals that would require hours to create with Photoshop, and would be downright impossible to find on stock photo sites.
The above image, which was used in a storyboard and print layout about sustainable forestry, demonstrates the power of AI to help us bring fanciful scenes from our imagination to life.
However, neither of these images were the results of the first attempt. Both required several different prompts, fine-tuning of the images, and hours of work. Not exactly a “Poof!” experience.
Our art directors have discovered that AI has its limitations. For example, the finer details of the human form – hands, fingers, eyes, noses – can sometimes be comically inaccurate.
For instance, given the prompt of “young girl in forest playing with tree branch like a sword,” AI produced this nightmarish pair of images which made us reluctant to ever set foot in the forest again. (What happened to these children?)
Try to guess the prompts our art directors used for these next two images:
If you guessed, “Two-headed black dog/serpent in bathtub” and “Old woman dismays fellow bus patrons by inhaling layer cake,” you would be incorrect. The prompts used were, “Happy fluffy black dog in bubble bath” and “African American old woman with cake on bus.”
Needless to say, our art directors did not use any of these images.
AI tools for writers
The hype: No one ever has to write content again—AI can churn it out for you, 24/7.
The reality: AI can indeed churn out content for you. But will it be quality content? Not always. The AI tools still need a lot of handholding, editing and fact-checking to produce usable copy.
Brogan writers have experimented with AI, using the tools more as idea generators than copywriters. (After all, we’d still like to keep our jobs.) And like the art directors, we’ve seen some hits and misses.
As an experiment, one of our writers asked an AI generative platform to write a profile of Brogan & Partners. Here’s a sample paragraph:
Brogan & Partners specializes in integrated solutions that bridge both traditional and digital media. Whether you need assistance with video production, website design and development, content creation, or social media strategy, their team has you covered. In addition to their full-service capabilities, they also have expertise in experiential activations, public relations and strategic planning. The team at Brogan & Partners is comprised of experienced professionals who bring creativity and innovation to every project they work on.
It’s not Hemingway, but then, neither are most company profiles. It lacks personality and energy. But it’s coherent and credible… frighteningly so, for us writers.
(Read the entire AI-generated profile in our earlier blog, “We asked an AI platform to write a blog post about Brogan & Partners.”)
In the same company profile mentioned above, the copy listed off one client that Brogan has never worked with, and one that we haven’t worked with in about 30 years. At the same time, it failed to mention most of our biggest clients. There was also some questionable use of exclamation points.
So if you’re going to use AI tools, be prepared to edit and fact check—and not just because of these random inaccuracies. The training of some AI platforms cuts off at a certain date; for instance, one tool we used only had access to information through 2019. When we asked it about Queen Elizabeth, for example, we were told she was still alive and 94 years old. (She died in 2022 at the age of 96.)
The Cheesiest Blog Ever
In another experiment, some members of our creative team were given the hypothetical assignment of promoting the “cheese capital of the world.” As part of this assignment, we asked an AI platform to write us a blog about the different types of cheese. Here are some of the more memorable quotes from the blog:
The opening sentence: “As far as cheese is concerned, it is one of the most diverse, unique and delicious forms of food enjoyed by people all over the world.” We’re glad to hear that cheese thinks so highly of itself.
“Some varieties of hard cheese exist, including….(list of cheeses).” Science, take note: the existence of hard cheese has been confirmed.
“If you had to list all types of cheese, the task would be impossible.” This one gives us Freshman English Composition vibes: “Hey, if I say the task is impossible, then I’ll only have to list a couple.”
In another section, the blog urged us to “discover the best ways to maximize your cheese experience.”
Clearly, experience counts for something—both writing experience and experience being a human on planet Earth. If I ever write a blog telling anyone to maximize their cheese experience, it’s time for me to retire.
Read more about the pros and cons of AI platforms in our blog, “I spent two months with an AI chatbot.”