The Ai debate

As the debate continues around Ai and creative craft, it’s easy to fixate on a nostalgic view of ideation. I prefer instead, to look at the disruption it brings as an essential way for the next generation to sweep out the stale and overused.

It’s the energy of this hunger for change that’s always drawn me to the challenges raised by the new. Switching from traditional brand-out comms to content in its fledgling days, as we answered the accusation of ‘pretty pictures’ with methodologies like ‘Culture to Commerce’ and unlocking the power of mobile-first thinking.

Technology democratises, enables, encourages, entertains and educates. It allows the eager and the committed to learn and thrive. To defy prejudice, discrimination and artistic snobbery to establish new platforms.

And, in essence, it’s the elitism that sits underneath many of the arguments against the emerging social and tech-driven agencies that Ai bumps up against.

Ai opportunities

Ai offers everyone a chance to create without the baggage of what Jason Silva brilliantly called the ‘Protestant Work ethic’ of ‘the craft’. The chance for ideas to fly, solely on their own merits, judged by the ultimate peers of contemporary culture… The audience (YOUR audience), not middle aged white men in West End towers.

What we are seeing as a result of Ai isn’t a collapse of creative skills but an explosion. New talent, new capabilities and new ideas, an emergence of a new artform in itself – Granted, one that’s still learning how to shake off its Donnie Darko paintbrush, but it’s early days.

That production powerhouses such as Media Monks are leaning into Ai as a ‘Reason for Being’, shows that this is more than just a tool for ‘doing it cheaper’ – And agencies that treat it as simply that, will become the “Best but last buggy whip manufacturers around” (Watch Danny DeVito in the prescient 1991 film, ‘Other People’s Money’ if you have no idea what that reference is).

And this is the way it’s always been. Who out there feels a yearning for Letraset (what? Google it), let alone Quark (and Google that)… And even if we’ll be Googling things at all in a few years time? And 10 years ago – who would have guessed that Social Media Exec would be one of the key creative hires on your agenda? Change. Irrevocable. Exciting. Intoxicating. Full of opportunity.

Because the fun part is that, with all its capability, with all its speed and efficiency – Ai still needs a guiding human hand to make it something that stops us in our tracks. To help it work alongside a brand aesthetic or a shifting trend or as a tool to shape and change the way we think.

It’s not just in creative craft that we’re seeing a new meritocracy emerge. A new wealth of diversity, input and jumping off points for research is now a ChatGPT away. At a previous agency, we were able to call on 2,000 employees around the globe for localisation – Now we can offer insight on culture and nuance to even the smallest brand.

Ai in action

And that, to us at Pinpoint, is one of the most exciting parts about the journey we are setting out on with Ai. We were founded in a local area where we knew the people we worked with, and the people they sold to. As we grew, we wanted to keep that mentality. To build it into something we could offer brands – whether local or multinational, who STILL wanted the power of a one to one conversation in their communications.

That’s what Technology-driven, human inspired is all about. The ability to get right under the skin of what motivates your audience and bring it to life in rich, human texture.

Ai gives us the tools and the opportunity to drive that mechanism and we are diving right in. To plug into the data and insights that are often only paid lip-service to. To customise, to target, to join in conversations and learn. To ideate with relevance. To go down rabbit holes together, and drive emotional and financial reward for both PEOPLE and BRANDS with content that truly matters.

So, where is the human in Ai? Dreaming of where all of this can take us and taking the time to make it brilliant… And that’s a craft in itself.

Author: Douglas Hurcombe, Creative Director