“AI will raise the floor, but it won’t let you touch the stars.”

Farrokh summarised it beautifully at the Malaysian Marketing Conference & Festival 2024 as he explored ad shared real examples of AI’s role in advertising, comparing AI-generated content to human creativity. The AI created scripts emphasizing key brand messages but struggled with nuanced, emotional storytelling and visual accuracy, necessitating human intervention to finalise the videos.

Farrokh, who is Chief Creative Officer APAC at Merkle B2B, concluded that while AI can support and streamline creative processes, it cannot replicate the extraordinary creativity unique to humans. “AI is trained on human intelligence. It is a derivative.”

Creative agencies offering genuine, innovative ideas will thrive, as their work will guide future AI development.

The presentation underscored the importance of blending AI’s capabilities with human ingenuity to achieve the best results, highlighting a future where AI enhances but does not replace human creativity.

“Converting the AI scripts into accurate AI generated videos proved to be challenging. The AI tools could not pull accurate images to mirror the AI script. So, we had to pull in some human help to make it a more viewer-friendly comparison. Big thanks to Directors Think Tank for pulling in images from various sources to create stealomatics that better mirror the intent of the AI scripts.”

He answered the burning question with four iconic brands campaigns in real-life experiments:
“Will AI replace advertising creativity?”

OLD SPICE “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” EXPERIMENT

Reverse-Engineered Brief:
Get: Get women (who buy 60% of body wash) and men shopping in a crowded body wash market
Who: Buy generic body washes for use by both of them
To: Buy an Old Spice body wash for the man of the house
By: Telling them that Old Spice has a distinct masculine scent that can make men smell like men.


Reverse-Engineered Brief:
Get: Malaysians who love their nation
Who: Feel a heightened sense of unity and pride on Merdeka Day
To: Cultivate a next generation that is united, and not divided by race and colour
By: Telling them that children are naturally colour blind, and we should keep them that way.


Reverse-Engineered Brief
Get: People that enjoy eating delicious food like the Whopper
Who: Live in an increasingly health-conscious world and are wary of preservatives in their food
To: See that Burger King’s Whopper has all the goodness without preservatives
By: Showing them ‘the beauty of no artificial preservatives’


Reverse-Engineered Brief
Get: Men who do tough jobs and drive long distances.
Who: Buy any 4WD because they all seem tough
To: See the Ford Ranger as the ultimate tough 4WD
By: Telling them that the Ford Ranger can handle every danger you could possibly encounter on the road.

Farrokh added, “AI is good for efficiency, not excellence. So budgets remain high where excellence is demanded. But for agencies that expect to be paid a premium for hygiene efficiency, the AI knock on the door could feel like a visit from the Grim Reaper.

I see AI as being good for the ad industry. The simple reason is that AI is trained on the average output. And if the average can easily and cost-efficiently be obtained through AI, clients will only engage with agencies on output that’s exceptionally braver, bolder and brand building. So it should make it easier for creative leaders who pursue excellence to thrive in a world of AI efficiency.”

Two days of inspiring talks, peer discussions, demonstrations that generated mind-enriching experiences for over 250 delegates. The event also starred celebrity podcaster Khairy Jamaluddin, Director @ Seven Network Sydney Lucio Ribeiro, creative superstar Farrokh Madon, Prompt Engineer Indhran Indhraseghar, Malaysia’s CMOs of the Year 2023 and many more…

Download the edition here: https://weekender.com.my/issue407/

Event pix: https://marketingmagazine.com.my/mcf2024/gallery/

Event site: https://marketingmagazine.com.my/mcf2024/

MARKETING Magazine is not responsible for the content of external sites.

The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

This year’s winners will receive Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies for 21 categories, and 6 special Best of Best categories (red trophies) that require no submissions!

Campaign entries must have run between June 2023 to May 2024

Submissions Deadline
30th June 2024

APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
11th – 12th July 2024 (Malaysia)


Download Event PDF
Submit Entries Here

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