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Generative AI and machine learning are rapidly changing how brands bring content, particularly video content, to a variety of platforms and audiences -- upending traditional creative, strategy and media silos, and offering new efficiencies amid risks

NEW YORK – New research released today from Winterberry Group, a strategic advisory consultancy, documents the far-reaching effects that artificial intelligence – specifically generative AI and machine learning – are having on creative ideation and production, as well as moving the considerations for audience and channel selection earlier into the process, as global spending on video and digital content production is projected to top $121 billion globally this year – 47 percent of it accountable to the United States.

As brands seek to reduce not just cost but also productivity from partners creating content, the approach to managing and measuring the value of content, taking a sustainable path to creation, on-the-fly versioning and video and content creative optimization, are some of the ramifications of these investments. Through the course of the interviews, it has become increasingly clear that the people and process requires an aligned integration of creative, strategy and media teams according to Winterberry Group -- in the new study “The New Creative Paradigm: How AI is Transforming Video and Content Production (February 2024).

The research is sponsored by APR [Advertising Production Resources], a Denver, CO-based creative production consultancy.

“As consumers have dramatically changed how they consume media, brands and agencies have altered their media spend amongst linear and across digital channels to stay connected to them,” said Bruce Biegel, senior managing partner, Winterberry Group. “During the past 10 years, consumers have flipped the time spent per day on digital versus traditional media – today they spend eight hours a day with digital.”

Source: Winterberry Group, The New Creative Paradigm – How AI Is Transforming Video and Content Production, February 2024.

“That’s 60 percent more than they spend with traditional media,” he said. “And they’re consuming video media in a variety of lengths and formats, with a mix of long-form, short-form and branded content. Brands are having to re-think how they bring digital content to consumers – and how they produce it. Generative AI and machine learning, collectively AI are now transforming how we plan, develop, measure and value content created.”

For close to a decade, according to the report, machine learning has been relied upon by marketers to drive targeting, attribution and measurement – the algorithm. Now it is being teamed with generative AI – “the next innovation frontier” – to assist brands and agencies with research distillation, concept ideation, content production, versioning and testing.

“The struggle to address surging demand for scaled, contextually relevant content is not new,” said Jamie Posnanski, former global head of content for Accenture Song. “But this research highlights why many of us who have been helping brands solve for these challenges are truly excited. The rapid evolution of AI in this space is presenting new, transformational opportunities to accelerate content creation and dramatically improve consumption—while overcoming legacy processes and fragmented technology stacks to unify media, data and content in ways that were never before possible.”

Such application is also adding complexity – with over 80 percent of marketers working with two or more production partners, and nearly 13 percent working with six or more today. Even though more than six in ten marketers are currently leveraging generative AI to support creative development and more than nine in ten are leveraging or planning to leverage creative intelligence from AI to support content development and optimization, the market is still in its early stage of evolution.

“Our research, based on a survey of 250 decision-makers at brands across the United States and United Kingdom, as well as in-depth interviews with dozens of industry experts, takes a deep dive into the lifecycle of creative production and content creation – from planning, to process management and governance, to measurement,” said Charles Ping, managing director, Winterberry Group. “We identify how functional roles at brands and agencies are changing as a result – raising the profile for holistic planning among creatives, strategists, media planners, data scientists – and the vitality of the data and intelligence they leverage.”

Source: Winterberry Group, The New Creative Paradigm – How AI Is Transforming Video and Content Production, February 2024.

Such deployments are not without significant challenges, among them regulatory uncertainty, lack of clarity in costs and resource intensiveness of AI, bias elimination, limited trust in AI-generated content, and variability in quality and consistency, according to the research. Brands also have invested heavily in sustainability and diversity-equity-inclusion initiatives – and it is unclear what impact AI may have on these business objectives, the report states. Human command and oversight are critical for all these reasons.

“We believe brands and agencies will benefit from this research – generative AI has everyone’s attention, and its testing and deployments, when successful, bring efficiencies and quantities in content,” Kate Briganti, chief strategy officer, APR. “Adherence to brand standards, consumer acceptance, engagement, and a scalable process for production must be achieved in tandem. We are excited to bring this discussion to the forefront in this white paper.” Results of the full study, as a PDF, are available for download from Winterberry Group.


Winterberry Group is a strategic consultancy specializing in the intersecting disciplines of advertising, marketing, data, technology and commerce. We collaborate with stakeholders across the advertising and marketing ecosystem—service providers, technology developers, media companies, brands and investor groups—to identify and activate growth opportunities that drive the creation of real and lasting value.

We bring decades of experience and deep industry, operational and M&A expertise that bridges strategic development and tactical execution—driving unprecedented speed-to-action. And through our highly collaborative approach, we enable knowledge transfer and actionability, giving our clients a competitive edge and powering growth in performance, team engagement and shareholder value. Learn more at https://winterberrygroup.com.

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