Burger King’s AI ad reveals Deep Learning truths, sort of.

Published October 4, 2018

Deep Learning has the potential to make ads powerfully personalised.

But what is it? Why will it be better than what went before and how can it help a brand realise its  potential in a post-GDPR world?

Deep Learning is a facet of machine learning that utilises artificial neural networks that learn by watching, interpreting and then suggesting. Much like a human brain. Importantly the complex algorithms don’t need input from humans – Deep Learning can take place without human supervision.

What could this mean for your brand?

Targeted ads make use of data mining to target the content being displayed on a website following specific input from programmers. This method of online advertising has played a large part in creating the current emotional response experienced by Internet users (everyone): annoyance. Annoyance at being stalked round the Internet by an ad for, say, unicorn glitter, just because you ordered it once on Amazon (who needs that sort of thing more than once?).  This ‘spray and pray’ advertising method adopted by lazier brands can lead directly to brand over-exposure and brand fatigue.

Deep Learning combined with AI offers brands the opportunity to provide consumers with what they really want: hyper-personalisation. Which, in a nutshell, is the sentiment: if you’re going  to make like you know me, do it (really,really) well. Ads could be personalised in a way that makes us consumers feel that not only are we known and understood but that our digital selves represent us as we want to be: “we see you walking the corridors of independent clothing labels and we see your actual buying and spending habits. Here are a few up-and-coming labels trend-forecasted to be the next big (little indie) thing – at prices you can actually afford.” That sort of thing.

Until ‘that sort of thing’ becomes available – consumers are benefitting from the post-GDPR opt-in laws and from an improving level of personalisation. Deep Learning and AI integration into marketing campaigns has a (short, though) way to go yet. In the meantime creativity and humour are two of the key ways to grow and develop your brand. Burger King’s recent ad ‘solely created by artificial intelligence’ is the sort of hilariously ironic stop-gap that does the trick. What would it currently look like if we left human intelligence out?…

“Flame grilled, just like you. With vegetables free and flying, just like you. The Whopper lives in a bun mansion. Just like you. Order yourself today.” There’s truth to be had in there. The robots are coming. Mashable referred to the new AI-written ads as ‘beautiful disasters – and that is just what they are. Advertising gold, viewable here.