M&C Saatchi is one of London’s best-known marketing groups. The ad agency has many prominent clients including Google, Boots, HBO, and the UK Conservative Party. However M&C Saatchi also controls other successful businesses, including a PR firm, a talent agency, and an events organiser.
It recently created a new role of chief operating officer to oversee all of these businesses and help them work more closely together. The marketing group chose to appoint Camilla Kemp, who has worked in the ad agency for five years.
But, if you’re a copywriter you might not like hearing what Kemp had to say about the future.
Speaking about artificially intelligent billboards that the firm has been trialling on Oxford Street, one of London’s busiest retail areas, Kemp told Business Insider: “God, if the sophistication behind that really takes off, you might not need copywriters any more. You’re basically getting a very intelligent computer to figure out what to say and even who to say it to. So it might be able to recognise who you are and say, ‘we know people like you…'”
Kemp further explained: “We have a partnership with Queen Mary University of London and they have some very clever people who sort of create things that nobody else knows how to do. One of the things that was created last year was an AI billboard. What that did was it essentially learned over time what combination of image, text, product, and individual words got the most attention with people walking past the billboard.”
“It’s A/B testing live and based on facial recognition. It had a camera in it that would look at people and how much and how long they looked at the poster for. It learned over time, ‘Right I’ve combinations A, N, and Z that gets two seconds, but then combinations B, F, and G. Wow that’s getting 10 seconds.’ So, it learned over time what to introduce.”
The ad expert told Business Insider that the role of automation in the industry could also help with providing more personalised adverts.
Kemp said: “Using the right kind of technology you’re able to dynamically change (what’s being shown), so that you might be served a banner that says: ‘We know you like Sure deodorant, this is the one you bought last time. So here it is.’ So it’s being able to broadcast but on an individual basis lots of different messages to people that are much more relevant to them. Being able to do that dynamically and automatically. That’s where technology has a really exciting role to play — to do mass personalisation.”
Kemp was appointed in February to the new role to help the different businesses “work better together to offer the clients more integrated solutions and bring our smartest specialists together to solve problems.”
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