A week on from Google Marketing Live 2023 everyone’s had time to digest the latest updates rolling out in the coming months and there are some big ones. The new conversational experience in Google Ads looks impressive whilst Brand restrictions for broad match gives back some much needed control whilst maintaining all the performance benefits of broad match. There’s a whole host of other features coming out which you can find here (or in every other GML blog post going around!).

It is however certainly worth a sentence or two for the new ads experience with generative AI which may well be the biggest change to Google’s core business since they launched. It’s early days and there are undoubtedly further changes to come as Google tests and learns, but it’s clear that the changes to the SERP are going to signal some significant changes in customer experience and behaviour which in turn will have an impact on ad serving, ad experience and ad interaction.

What you might find more interesting though and some key talking points that we walked away with are:

  1. Prompt Engineering – a new area of expertise, are you taking the time to understand it?
  2. Brand safety in an AI era.
  3. Who owns your creatives and your creative vision if you are using AI?

Each one is worthy of a blog post in itself but for now we’re just going to touch on each topic to get you thinking about what’s coming next.

Prompt Engineering

We’ve all heard and probably said Machines are only as good as the data you give them over the past couple of years and it’s true, give smart bidding the wrong data and you won’t get the results you want. Well the same can be said for AI. Give AI the wrong prompts and you won’t get the results you want. This has the potential to be a whole discipline in itself and something you should be taking your time to understand now in order to maximise your output from the wave of AI coming our way. We have already started work on what best practice looks like regarding prompt engineering and leveraging the full capability of these tools.

Brand safety in an AI era

With AI now able to create, run and optimise your ads, what are you doing to ensure brand safety across the web? Is it enough to trust the platforms with your brand image if they are driving results? What tools and safety checks are you putting in place to ensure your brand is not being tarnished at the expense of short term results? As an agency we’re working closely with Google & Meta to understand the implications of AI ad generation and ad placement to ensure we protect client brands as we test new functionality.

Creative Rights

Imagine asking AI to create you an image of a cat sitting in front of the Eiffel Tower. This image does not exist until the AI creates it for you. Are you the copyright owner of this image because it was your creative prompt that generated the image?

The lines are definitely blurred and there are a number of legal cases currently on-going which will ultimately determine this.

Should creative come with an AI disclaimer? Is it unethical to use AI generated images without telling people what they are looking at?

So, what now?

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of AI-driven advertising, it’s crucial to delve into topics like prompt engineering, brand safety, and creative rights. These areas of discussion raise important questions about maximising AI’s potential while safeguarding our brands and addressing ethical concerns. With the lines between human and AI creativity blurring, it’s essential to explore these issues further and consider their implications for the future of digital advertising.

And that’s that, AI was only mentioned 16 times which is pretty good going, considering we are well and truly in the year of AI (17 now!)