Bryce Whitwam
Jun 5, 2023

Creative alchemy: Ogilvy's Chris Reitermann dives into AI's advertising abyss

SHANGHAI ZHAN PODCAST: AI promises to usher a transformative change across industries. Chris Reitermann, co-CEO, Ogilvy Asia and CEO of Ogilvy, Greater China, discusses its magical potential for advertising and its harmonious symphony with human creativity.

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

In a recent ShanghaiZhan podcast, Chris Reitermann, co-CEO of Ogilvy Asia and Greater China, delved into the transformative role of artificial intelligence in the advertising industry. His insights provide a glimpse into the future of advertising, shaped by technological advancements and changing consumer behavior.

Reitermann began by acknowledging the significant impact of AI on advertising. "AI is transforming the advertising industry. It can automate basic tasks, generate content, and enhance productivity," he said. He emphasised that while AI is a powerful tool that can streamline processes and generate vast amounts of content, it complements rather than replaces human creativity. This underscores the belief that the human touch remains crucial in creating meaningful and unique advertising content.

In the conversation, Reitermann also highlighted the enduring value of advertising agencies in the current era. "Advertising agencies still provide significant value to clients by helping them build strong, differentiated brands," he stated. He noted the importance of agencies in a market where growth is challenging, emphasizing their role in providing strategic direction and creative solutions.

The podcast also touched on the changing landscape of consumer behavior. Reitermann observed that people are becoming more conscious about their spending and are seeking a better work-life balance. This shift in consumer priorities is influencing advertising strategies, necessitating a more personalized and value-driven approach.

Reitermann also noted a shift in the advertising industry itself, which is now seen as offering a better work-life balance compared to tech companies. This shift is attracting more talent to the industry, fostering creativity and innovation.

Looking towards the future, Reitermann expressed optimism about the future of advertising. "While the last few years have been challenging, some good changes have emerged. We see a return to basic values and an appreciation for simpler things in life," he said. He also pointed out that there is significant investment in AI, indicating a promising future for the industry. This investment, coupled with the enduring value of human creativity, suggests a bright future for the advertising industry, one where technology and creativity coexist and complement each other.

Shanghai Zhan, hosted by industry veterans Bryce Whitwam and Ali Zein Kazmi, offers a deep dive into the intersection of marketing, advertising, technology, and platforms in China. With over 20 years of experience in China and fluency in Mandarin, they provide unique insights into this dynamic landscape. From AI's role in advertising to shifting consumer behaviors, ShanghaiZhan is your essential guide to understanding Chinese marketing and advertising. Tune in to Shanghai Zhan at

Chris Reitermann’s interview is available on the Shanghai Zhan podcast. The podcast is now available now on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogleStitcherAmazon Music, Xiao Yu Zhou and via RSS.

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