By Ewen Cameron, Founder and CEO of Berlin Cameron
Over the last few months, the rise in conversation about AI and its impact on marketing and creativity is matched only by the rapid decline in interest of Web3 and the once vaunted Metaverse. The headlines in the most prestigious corners of the business press are clear: ‘RIP Metaverse’. Those who hated the concept of a simulated reality couldn’t wait to jump up and down on its grave. Now, with AI, we can move onto something a little more ‘scientific’, like massive data lakes searching for patterns or suggesting ideas and solutions based on facts instead of flights of virtual fancy.
There is no doubt that AI is and will grow to be an incredibly powerful dynamic in brand marketing, even in the creative process itself. After all, creativity is ultimately a re-mix and remold of all our human experiences, built from simple inspirations like wandering the halls of museums or watching a movie. It’s the sum of all of these experiences that breeds creativity. So, how much more effective will AI be at remixing the world to create something unique and creative? Instead of slipping out of a meeting to wander around galleries, it can access and re-assemble the entire history of ideas relevant to the concept, yet as powerful as it is, it can’t change creativity on its own. If we are all asking the same questions to the same (admittedly vast) library, then most likely all answers will be pretty much the same.
For AI to really offer creative solutions, it needs Web3‘s blockchain technology to empower uniqueness of attribution at a massive scale. Blockchain and NFTs enable marketers to connect with consumers on a one-to-one basis. By combining this level of insight and customization with the predictive power of AI, we can achieve the holy grail of marketing and creativity. Together, these technologies can create powerful, creative, highly relevant communication. Each expression could be informed by the universal library of ideas (AI) yet, tailored to the specific knowledge of individuals (Web3).
On top of the creative opportunities, integrating blockchain and AI can create a new frontier for effective marketing through the transparency and authentication of blockchain. Some agencies are shying away from using AI in client assignments, because of the potential dilution and risk to brand IP. Once you start asking AI to generate ideas for your soda or SUV, who owns the output? It’s an understandable fear, yet blockchain can provide the solution. If AI generated concepts are minted to the blockchains as NFTs, the ownership and authenticity of the concepts will be transparent and trusted. The ‘Traits’ that informed the idea will also be transparent, and any IP royalty issue will be resolved through the clarity of blockchain technology.
One of the most exciting aspects of the dance between blockchain and AI takes us back to the much-maligned metaverse. The best NFT projects already engage generative AI to drive uniqueness and bring artistic traits together into the combinations that create collectability. But when massive input of data can be channeled into algorithms that enable NFTs to evolve in line with ‘sentiment’, seasonality, fashion, or any factor that shapes human personality, we will then enter the realm of true character. NFTs will no longer be two dimensional PFPs, and instead real personalities ready to connect and represent brand concepts at an individual level. Metaverse spaces or game plots will be equally informed and shaped by the abundance of data, resulting in a metaverse that will no longer be sparsely populated soulless malls of legless and limp avatars, but a truly immersive experience populated by multi-dimensional beings. These spaces will evolve and respondent to change, creating a seamless dance between the virtual and real worlds. The anthropologist Tom Boellstorff put it well when he said, “The virtual has always been essential to the real. Since human beings are always creating themselves through culture, they have always been virtual.”
For marketers looking to capture the next frontier of creativity and effectiveness, it’s not about choosing to use AI or enter into the metaverse, it’s about dancing with these technologies and imagining new worlds where there’s no boundary on what’s possible.