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Safaricom’s AI-Generated Creative Assets For Advertising Campaigns Rile Marketing Practitioners In Kenya.

I am on several popular marketing WhatsApp groups in Kenya and since last month there seems to be a growing sense of outrage, fear, and discontent that lots of Safaricom’s recent creative assets across traditional and digital marketing campaigns have been largely produced using generative artificial intelligence or ‘Generative AI’.

This is massively significant as Safaricom has traditionally been, and continues to be, one of the brands that spends an obscene amount of money on its marketing campaigns throughout Kenya for its myriad offerings. A big part of this has always been the production of creative assets using real people and agency teams to get the work done.

Therefore, the fact that Safaricom has already shifted to AI-generated creative assets for marketing purposes, seemingly overnight, means that they are saving a bundle that they would have otherwise had to pay to models, actors, professional photographers, art directors, etc for doing creative production work more conventionally.

Naturally, anyone seeing Safaricom’s AI-generated marketing creative assets will know it’s NOT real people and this could have implications, going forward, in terms of brand perception and ‘affinity’ given that Safaricom has always been embraced as being ‘Kenyan’ and as such it may lose some of this authenticity in terms of how it’s seen as a brand by consumers.

Whatever the case, the ship has sailed and Safaricom could be the first of an emerging trend in Kenya for leading brands and businesses that opt to use inexpensive AI-generated creative assets for their marketing campaigns! The reality is that AI will touch everyone and everything going forward so we all either have to ride this tsunami, or get crushed by it.

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