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Digital Industry Snapshot: YouExperience’s Sachin Mendonca

Sachin Mendonca, chief creative strategist, YouExperience

How did the digital ecosystem change last year?

Generative AI was a true game changer in 2022 with Midjourney, DALL-E, ChatGPT and about 160 other platforms. Imagine, we can now use AI to make incredible auditory, visual, and written creations with simple directive prompts. Don’t worry, humans are not being replaced… just yet.

While generative AI laid the groundwork, there are deliberate limitations. For example, ChatGPT’s knowledge cut-off is 2021. But we have undoubtedly entered a new era of knowledge. Working with AI is a part of our collective consciousness and we’ve transitioned from ‘if’ to ‘how’.  Don’t believe me? Ask anyone old enough to remember brands and agencies mocking the idea of social media when it first appeared. Generative AI is social media times a billion.

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Which of these trends will spill into 2023 and what changes do you expect?

Generative AI will completely transform our industry. As it evolves (which is already faster than anything out there), we will end up integrating it across the entire advertising spectrum: big ideas, tactical concepts, scripts, headlines, storyboards, 3D renders, website code and more. This is already a possibility and there’s still a lot unimagined.

What are some of the biggest challenges you foresee?

Just like the advent of social media, our industry was sluggish to adapt. The knee-jerk reaction was to take the $100,000 TVC, make it longer and post it. Spoiler alert, that was and still is the wrong approach. You’ll find it hard to get a recommendation for even 30 seconds from anyone at TikTok.

Our biggest challenge is to own the process and figure out how to use this seamlessly, while adding value.

What can brands do differently to accelerate their digital strategy?

Embrace generative AI. Take the risk, experiment, go live, course correct and integrate it into your eco-system. Generative AI is not just a tool for imitating; it’s capable of making things that are entirely new. The biggest success is going to be about building the future today, not improving yesterday.

What are the biggest opportunities brands can gear up for this year?

Think, how can generative AI transform your business in 2024 and act now. It’s not about spitting out a headline or a visual; that is so yesterday. Think of the impact. If 95 per cent of your customer service is entirely automated with ChatGPT to mimic real human responses – and can speak to every single customer simultaneously with zero waiting time. If your competitor implements this, how does that affect you?

The real question is, was this really written by me or by ChatGPT?