Campaign Staff
Jun 24, 2024

'Creative will be automated, but creativity never will be'

In a special Q&A, two leading creatives tell us how brands and agencies can use AI to tell better stories

'Creative will be automated, but creativity never will be'

Is artificial intelligence (AI) a knight in shining armour for creativity, or is it its executioner?

Jimmie Stone, VP, head of creative shop at Meta, and Tiffany Rolfe, global chief creative officer & chair at R/GA, both believe AI will aid creative talent, build new experiences and help to deliver hyper-relevant campaigns. But, concerns remain. Are creative jobs at risk? Will it homogenise content?

Campaign and Meta have teamed up to bring together Stone and Rolfe to talk shifting experiences, how brands can adapt, whether creatives should be worried and… planning birthday parties.
What excites you about the future of AI and creativity?
Rolfe: A lot of AI talk is around efficiency. And while that does offer value, as a creative person I’m more excited about what we’re going to build with it that we haven’t been able to build before. 
Stone: Last year AI was coming like a storm. This year, it feels like the sun has arrived – it’s here! I strongly believe, after working very closely with AI and large language models that creative will be automated, but creativity never will be.
Rolfe: It’s worth thinking about it as a new version of the internet. A lot of people are calling it a tool, but I think it’s something that will actually generate a lot of tools which will change how people and brands interact. It’s going to be more of a two-way dialogue, and people will be part of creating experiences with a brand, and individualising brands to them. That’s what’s really exciting because it will lead to a lot of new creative opportunities.
What role will AI play for creatives, and should they be worried?
Stone: I don’t think creatives should be worried about AI at all. In fact, creatives should be worried about other creatives using AI. 
Rolfe: As creative people our job will be to build a system around a brand that enables the customer to interact with the creative. We’ll be doing a lot more building with other people versus just putting artefacts out into the world. 
Stone: We’ve had AI in our systems for a long time, and what we’re talking about now is the ability to connect content to the right person at the right time. Having the ability to work with a machine that understands the stories you’re trying to evoke is an amazing opportunity for creativity. 
Rolfe: It’s going to help us scale brands in a really individualised way, which is really awesome. 
Do you have examples of where creativity is flourishing because of AI? 
Rolfe: We did a rebrand for Android. We created new tools to enable co-creation at scale, and created a droid character that allowed 200,000 developers to create expressions of that droid on their own without it being a totally different version. This allowed everyone to have a version of this brand expression, while remaining on-brand. That, to me, is the kind of creativity AI enables – you’re building the framework for creative but you’re going to have to let it go out into the world. 
Stone: McDonald’s is doing great work. They start every brief with fan truths, such as when people buy French Fries, they take the first fry before they’ve even paid. They take that fan truth and create multiple campaigns with multiple executions, and keep feeding the machine to find the audience that is looking for that particular content. 
What should brands be doing to adapt to how people will use Generative AI? 
Rolfe: Brands have to start thinking about how people will prompt for you and how will they ask for you. Brands have to take their whole knowledge and expertise about their products and categories and figure out how to engage people differently. 
Stone: As an example to that point, the tagline of a brand is irrelevant. It’s the ethos behind the tagline that is going to be super important for people to be able to live their own version of the brand. 
Rolfe: I experimented with a lot of Generative AI tools for personal experience. I was planning a birthday party for my daughter, and I was helping to pull together a party that was a mix of slumber, spa day and sleepover – nothing you could find on a website. So I asked various AI and visual tools what I needed to make it work, and I was getting lots back. I wasn’t exploring a website or scrolling down pre-conceived categories, which made me realise how we interact is being re-framed. I was able to move between an omnimodal experience rather than it being a linear journey which we’ve designed for in the past.
To sum up, what do you both see as the benefits of Generative AI and the potential it has for human creativity? 
Rolfe: What makes me a tech optimist is that I know it will help us build and create things. It’s all our responsibility to create those new things because it’s only going to be what we make it. 
Stone: You’re going to have art directors being better writers, writers being better art directors, everyone being a little bit better at everything. With the creative ability in the industry, we can prompt AI to new heights like never before. It’s moved so quickly from this time last year, so imagine what we’ll be discussing next year!


Campaign UK

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