AI in Advertising: “AI Has Made Mediocrity Free”

Artificial intelligence is unlocking a new potential to advertising and transforming it irretrievably. Who better to speak on the topic than the AI marketing leader, Paul Caiozzo of Supernatual Creative Agency.

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Source: Branding Conference

Why we shouldn’t compare artificial and biological intelligence 

According to Paul Caiozzo from Supernatural, it’s impossible to build a machine that replicates biological intelligence considering that not even neuroscientists have a complete understanding of how the human brain works. 

“When we equate our brain to digital technology, we put ourselves in a losing position. We cannot compete with AI on measurable parameters such as consistency, computer output, multitasking… These are all things we are not great at, and things that AI is really good at. But we, humans, are good at ambiguity, curiosity, taking risks. The journey of a human creator is simply different,” stated Caiozzo at the Branding conference held last weekend in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

As he pointed out, AI is still not very good at coming up with original ideas; that’s where humans still need to step in. 

“Artificial intelligence, in terms of creators and marketers, is a powerful tool for visionary people. It does not provide you with ideas or concepts. It is a power tool for people who already have ideas. AI is about to flood the world with mounts and mounts of absolute garbage because it’s made mediocrity free. Everybody can now make something mediocre, which is a great thing, because we now know the paceline and how to rise above it,” he believes. 

Who is Paul Caiozzo?
Paul is one of the most recognized and awarded creatives in the advertising industry. His work was repeatedly parodied on Saturday Night Live, praised by Al Gore, discussed on CNN, and his work was exhibited at The Smithsonian, the Museum of Modern Art, and Poster House, the first poster-focused museum in the U.S. Memorable campaigns include "Whopper Freakout" and "Help I Want to Save a Life," both featured in Taschen's book Game Changers about work that redefined advertising. Before he founded Interesting Development, which was named Small Agency of the Year 2019 by AdAge, Paul led Goodby Silverstein and Partners NY, and before that he helped define the Burger King brand at Crispin Porter Bogusky.

How is AI different from previous hypes?   

During his presentation, Caiozzo also shared interesting arguments about why he thinks AI isn’t just another hype. 

“Why is AI different from the other things you have probably heard about, like VR, Web3, Crypto, Metaverse, NFT, Blockchain? It’s just sort of endless. The field of artificial intelligence is not new but it’s relatively new in the mainstream and it’s new for creative advertising. And all new technology goes through an inevitable hype cycle,” he claims. 

Moreover, he emphasized that the hype cycle is always the same, no matter what the technology is. 

“It’s inventive, smart people get involved, they bring investments, investments bring opportunities, opportunities bring mainstream interest, and with it come the fraudsters – people who change their LinkedIn bio every 6 months to Crypto Expert, NFT Expert… Those people make it hard to see which technology has lasted, and which one is fleeing,” Caiozzo said. 

The way he sees it, we’re currently between the mainstream interest and a backlash. 

“The negative press is starting and there’s gonna be a lot more of it. After the backlash, comes adoption, and then the technology enters its permanent state. I think the permanent state of AI is gonna be different than Web3 or crypto. I don’t understand Web3, I’m not a technical person. I know what it is, I have no idea what it really is or why it’s useful to anyone. On the other hand, AI is very understandable, it’s very accessible and its potential is limitless. It takes no effort to understand the benefits of ChatGPT or Midjourney,” noticed the co-founder of Supernatural agency and added that AI is a very different promise than other technologies that have been introduced in the past year or so. 

How is AI working in present-day advertising? 

This potential of AI provides opportunities for small companies to compete with giants like Coca Cola with the same creativity. 

“The client’s schedule didn’t change, but we got so much faster. The concept stage is still fully human because AI hasn’t gotten better in that area for the past three years. It’s obviously very good at testing and it helps us sell better work. Moreover, we want to make AI seem invisible. If we can’t get something to look like it was produced the old way, we don’t use it. We’re not interested in being PR for AI, we’re interested in using AI to solve problems and to make things that were better than before,” Caiozzo stated. 


AI is a very different promise than other technologies that have been introduced in the past year or so.

The AI marketing leader shared his opinion on the future of AI in advertising: 

“I believe we are moving to a fully generative world very soon. Right now, we’re living in a loaded world, everything is stored somewhere. I think it’s not gonna be like that anymore. Each person will have a different experience because every content will be what you want. It’s a big shift but I believe we are going there and soon. And I think that everyone who is not preparing for this is gonna be left behind. The good news is, everyone who is preparing for this is gonna compete with any size agency or any size country,” he firmly believes. 

And finally, not one AI-related article can go without answering the everlasting question – Will AI replace us? 

“This shift means that we will be able to oversee lots of content instead of doing one thing at a time. What it means is that we need people who have vision and who are deeply creative and who can control these machines. They don’t control themselves, they don’t have good ideas, we’re still gonna have to do that part. AI is not gonna replace you. That is, unless you suck. It will replace you really fast if you’re mediocre because it’s really good at being mediocre. But it’s not gonna replace the most creative people. It’s gonna make them more powerful. The need for creative people is getting bigger, not smaller, and they are even harder to find,” Caiozzo concluded. 

A journalist by day and a podcaster by night. She's not writing to impress but to be understood.