IBM is looking to artificial intelligence to solve for the creative restraints and measurement challenges brands face when advertising in the streaming landscape.
IBM Watson is applying the ad optimization it created for display advertising for the over-the-top space in two ways: by using audience data to actually help brands create ads and by selecting the best creative to send to specific audiences.
“It reduces the monotonous labor from humans, and can take those insights to make enterprise-level decisions,” says Dave Olesnevich, head of product, IBM Watson Advertising. “Instead of having a team develop assets to use, the AI is configuring all of that. We’re working with brands and creative agencies in decisioning and planning. We are happily marrying humans and machines to drive the business forward.”
This comes as brands are eager to follow consumers as they increasingly adopt streaming platforms. Thus far, however, much of the creative that runs in the over-the-top space is re-purposed from linear TV, not necessarily taking into account the ability to better tailor and target ad messages on the digital platforms.
To make it easier for brands to create multiple versions of its messaging, Watson creates ads by ingesting creative assets like music tracks, video sequences, voice overs, title and end cards into the Advertising Accelerator, which can put together a customized creative that aims to save creative setup for brands. Olsenevick says marketers can now use Watson to develop personalized OTT creative for each viewer and ultimately help improve campaign performance over time.
Olesnevich claims this can help reduce costs. “When [a creative is] in design or development stage, [the AI] can grab those assets that we would leave on the cutting room before, and deploy them through Accelerator.” IBM also says it works closely with brands to ensure Accelerator-assembled advertisements don’t go off-message, and says the AI has built-in safeguards to protect brands.
The accelerator also uses AI to analyze audience data signals like the weather, time and location, to serve up ads it thinks will resonate with the audience.