September 21, 2023

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How major ad agencies are using AI


Omnicom is leveraging the partnership route to develop its own AI strategy. It has deals in place with three of the biggest players in the AI field: Google, Microsoft and Amazon.

Each of the deals looks quite similar, consisting of integrations between the tech companies’ generative AI models and Omni—Omnicom’s internal marketing and data platform. The partnerships seek to bolster Omni into a well-rounded hub for clients to access generative text and image capabilities.

As part of its deal with Microsoft, Omnicom announced Omni Assist, which is a ChatGPT-based chatbot. Omni Assist is embedded within Omni, and aims to help with audience development, planning activation, measurement and optimization.

Read more: Google, Omnicom strike generative AI deal

Pereira O’Dell

Pereira O’Dell’s approach to AI is focused on internal experimentation. The agency has a lab, made up of four people as of March, with the intention to finish one experiment a week. These projects are mainly focused on generative AI, such as crafting and tweaking videos from prompts. For example, the agency reimagined a scene from “Pulp Fiction” in the style of an Atari game, as well as a scene from “Joker,” but all the characters are made from knitting.

The agency’s efforts in the AI space are relatively contained compared to industry counterparts; Co-founder and Creative Chairman PJ Pereira previously told Ad Age that this approach gives the lab the freedom to work without being worried about revenue.  

Pereira, though, is open to bringing the work to clients if it proves worthwhile. The agency just hired a new executive creative director in former Meta global creative product lead Juliana Constantino, who will oversee the intersection of data and creativity, such as AI tools.

Read more: Pereira O’Dell hires executive creative director


Publicis has invested some $11 billion in AI-powered technology, CEO Arthur Sadoun said on a recent earnings call. This funding primarily supports data and tech division Epsilon, which it acquired in 2019; digital consulting firm Sapient, which acquired a full stake in Publicis Sapient AI Labs earlier this year; and Marcel, an AI talent management tool.

Marcel, in particular, has fronted Publicis’ efforts in the AI space. The tool launched in 2017 as a central hub for employees to be used for any number of purposes, from internal staffing and learning new skills to finding data-driven insights for clients. At the time, many in the industry sneered at Publicis for investing in AI over submitting work to major award shows. Publicis unveiled a clap-back campaign at this year’s Cannes Lions.

Publicis also maintains an internal AI hub called PublicisGPT, which groups together generative AI tools from various companies, including OpenAI, Microsoft, Google and Adobe. And this month, Publicis-owned SaaS platform Profitero launched a generative AI-powered version of its commerce analytics software.

Read more: Profitero launches AI-powered retail analytics


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