The ad conceptor
Check out The ad conceptor. The site is a humorous take on the industry and raises some interesting questions about how much of the creative process can you automate. On this site you have to select from a limited choice of product categories, tone of voices and target groups. In return you get an instant concept. Some of the ideas you get are quite good I must say, but of course they are prerecorded.
What if we were to try to make a machine that gives you realtime creative solutions that aren't prerecorded? Very difficult task. Besides the clever algorithms, the system would reqire constant input of social communication to keep the ideas fresh and relevant.
I think good advertising is a very difficult task to automate. Creative solutions by default should be new, so automated processes would need to have an amazing complexity to be even remotely comparable to human ideas.
However, I can see how a sophisticated AI could help the idea generation.
As a first step we could identify the types of ideas that make up 90% of good creative concepts. For example let's take one common tool that used in advertising to dramatize concepts: exageration. See a good example of this practice below for Matchbox.
The input sentence for the AI would be something like this: small toy car. The AI would take 4 steps to give you a concept:
1. Take any adjectives and find their opposites. In this case small will generate big, huge, monster, etc.
2. Take any nouns and find related words at least two levels deep. Car will generate wheel, hood, wiper, windshield, etc. On the second round windshield will generate glass, rain, bug, etc. It would run the same query on all nouns.
3. Generate a list of output sentences using the words generated in step one and two. Such as: big teddybear car and huge toy rain that mostly make no sense whatsoever.
4. Put images and words together based on the random senteces that it generated.
Finally, I don't see how the AI would be able to sort out which concepts make sense. A human would have to go through several dozens of nonsensical concepts that the AI generated and pick the one which has an idea in it. He would have to find the visual concept: monster windshield bug and execute it.
We could further enchance such a system to a level where the output is seemingly intelligent, but don't be afraid that your creative job is in danger any time in the near future.
If we look at the level of intelligence chatbots can do at this moment in time, it will take another 50 years till advertising professionals would have to start worrying of AI creatives replacing them.
Unfortunately that's not true for all professions. For example aeroplanes today can fly fully automated. If I were a pilot I would feel a bit frustrated.