Dr. Pradeep Mahapatra
Return to normalcy in trade and commerce at the endemic phase of coronavirus induced pandemic raised the hope of an increase in advertising spending. Traditional media, mostly television and print newspapers expected to return to the financial position of the pre-covid period. However, the emerging trend of the use of new technologies in the advertising ecosystem tends to drive advertising spending toward digital media by the first half of 2022.
Zee Entertainment is considered a major player in television broadcasting in India. A report published during the second week of August 2022 revealed that there was about 50 percent fall in consolidated net profit during April-May-June 2022 in comparison to profit of the same period a year earlier during 2021. While the broadcaster reported a net profit of about Rs 208 crore during the first quarter of the accounting year in 2021, it dropped to Rs 106 crore. Among other reasons, lower advertising spending by brands is considered as a cause of concern.
The financial experience of Zee Entertainment may not be applicable to other platforms in totality, but a time has come to ponder the reasons for the decrease in advertising spending during the ‘new normal. The use of artificial intelligence in the production and publication of advertisements may be considered as an impacting factor for such a shift of advertising from traditional to digital platforms. India is not lagging behind in the use of artificial Intelligence tools in advertising in comparison to the international trends.
Production and publication of personalized advertisements is one of the foremost advantages of AI-powered advertising. Citing a few examples, the food delivery major Zomato released a hyper-local campaign in July 2022 featuring noted Bollywood film personality Hrithik Roshan. In the advertisement, the actor endorsed various dishes from different restaurants belonging to towns and cities spread over the country. His voice for endorsement was manipulated using deep-fake technology. The audience’s curiosity to listen to their favorite dishes form neighborhood eateries from a celebrity remained high. Confronting such an environment by television or print newspaper advertising is unviable. The advertisement published in devices takes into consideration their geographical location.
Similarly, a firm named ‘notjustacadburyad.dot.com’ launched a festive session advertisement campaign last Dipavali 2021 targeted at hyper-local retail stores of different towns and cities throughout the country. Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan promoted small business outlets on an individual basis. About 1,39,000 hyper-localized advertisements were produced within a short period of 10 days to be used for sales promotion through personalized advertisements of individual retail stores.
Soft drink brand Pepsi Co employed deep-fake technology to construct the appearance of younger years of its brand ambassador Salman Khan in an advertisement released in March 2022, at the beginning of the summer market. Similarly, an insurance company created a short video of 11-year-old cricket champion Sachin Tendulkar to address to the audience to be fearless in life. Use of artificial intelligence 3D modeling and precision shooting help to produce near-true images of endorsers of advertisements utilising old photographs, voice samples and facial expressions. Since such facilities are unthinkable in traditional media platforms, new age advertising seems to prefer digital media.
The relevance of advertising depends upon who speaks what, in which form, volume and platform measured with consumer behaviour. Traditional platforms like television and print newspaper place advertisements for a general audience. Options are limited to reach specific groups of audiences. In newspapers, the first and last pages attract the attention of more readers, sports and entertainment pages reach to younger readers or business newspapers carry messages to those engaged in trade and commerce. First, advertisements in print newspapers, cannot reach a segmented readership. Secondly, it becomes difficult to measure the acceptance and Third, fail to collect real-time data on consumer trends.
However, artificial intelligence-powered advertising enables us to cross many such barriers. It attracts advertisers to adapt to new technologies. As per a publication in Forbes about 15 percent of advertising used artificial intelligence in one form or other by 2022 in developed nations.
Quality of advertising enhances with adoptable content, personalization and audience segmentation. Consumer choice, requirements and contemporary trend plays a significant role in the success of a campaign. Artificial intelligence empowers the advertiser to collect data on consumer behaviour, both during pre and post-operation periods. Data-drivan advertising appears to be simple, error-free and dependable for the advertiser. Artificial intelligence-powered advertising is all set to write a new chapter in the Indian advertising landscape.
(English translation of the original Odia newsletter by the author circulated on August 19, 2022. https://tinyletter.com/pradeepmahapatra/letters/message-263. It is an open-access content, free for translation and reproduction)
Dr. Pradeep Mahapatra is a retired faculty of Journalism, Berhampur University, Odisha.https://about.me/pradeepmahapatra
Pinto, Vivet Susan. AI opens a whole new world in advertising. Business Standard (Bhubaneswar Edition). July 7, 2022
Gonzalez, Wendy. How Machine Learning is shaping the future of advertising. forbes.com. Jan 18, 2022.