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E156: The AI Agency Shake-Up with John Elder

Dive into the future of creative advertising with John Elder as he unveils the AI-driven evolution at Supernatural. Discover how mixing machine precision with human talent is not just a buzz but the current reality. John demystifies AI as a catalyst for advertising agencies, discussing the blend of data, strategy, and creativity for delivering impactful campaigns. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Hard to Market Podcast.
  • AI as a ‘power tool’ in advertising
  • AI for better, not more, content
  • Enhancing agility with AI tools
  • Human oversight is crucial
  • AI and the future in 2 years
Resources:
Connect with John Elder:
Connect with our host, Brian Mattocks:
Quotables:
  • 3:33 – If you think about hiring a contractor, he could use a hand saw or he could use a table saw one of them is more precise, maybe a little bit more accurate, certainly faster. Both take crafts, you still need a craftsperson to operate either. And I think it’s sort of like people worried about the future. Their futures for AI is sort of like a carpenter being worried that if he doesn’t do it saw by hand, he’s gonna be out of a job. It’s still gonna need talented people to get really good breakthrough work out in the world.
  • 3:10 – There’s a lot of chatter in the industry about, oh, AI is coming, what it, what is it gonna mean? And I think there’s, you know, we try to navigate between sort of the hand waviness of, oh my gosh, AI is gonna solve the future and you’re gonna be able to just push a button and get an ad to the hand wring this of like, oh, we’re all doomed and we’re not gonna have a job in five years.
  • 11:09 – I think this has been challenging, for clients in that their budgets haven’t necessarily increased, but they’ve had to output a lot and a lot more channels and feed these channels. So I think that’s been part of the reasons that sort of for creative agencies clients are, you know, a bit more fragmented in what they have to deliver on. And it isn’t about putting more, to me it goes back to relevancy.
  • 17:36 – We firmly believe that human in the loop is the only way to go. You need a human every step of the way to vet because the machine will come up with really good analysis of data, but you need a human to tell the story. Is there gonna be a point where you can get the AI to start developing a competitive, a compelling narrative presentation? Probably, but a human is still gonna be there augmented to enhance it and embrace it.
  • 20:39 – I think first of all, the way to get started is to get started. You know, there is, that is half the battle and I think for a lot of people there is a lot of angst and concern and the way to sort of get over that is to get an understanding of how these things work because it is less intimidating once you get there. So absolutely, I would go to try ChatGPT, I tried Bard, try a couple of different ones of those. Read up a little bit on prompting because we’ll hear a lot of like, oh well you can get, you know, your platform to write Zipcar headlines. I can get that from ChatGPT. It’s like, okay, but do you have the prompt engineering to do that? Do you have the data that’s supporting it? Do you have the advertising effectiveness research?

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