John Wren
Jun 11, 2024

A true union between humans and machines can have a multiplier effect on creativity

Ahead of Cannes Lions, Campaign asked the CEOs of the big six agency groups how they make the business case for investing in creativity in the age of AI. Omnicom's John Wren continues the series.

A true union between humans and machines can have a multiplier effect on creativity

Omnicom is the only holding company that was founded by creatives, and we continue to be home to the industry’s most iconic agencies including DDB, BBDO, TBWA, Goodby Silverstein & Partners and more.

Not only have these agencies consistently produced some of the industry’s most memorable and groundbreaking campaigns for our clients, they’ve also changed culture. That’s no small feat.

With those iconic agencies as our bedrock, we have diligently and strategically grown Omnicom to be a global powerhouse that brings together a unique combination of creativity, technology and humanity.

We have kept our eye on the innovations and disciplines that are transforming our industry and we continue to invest in those growth areas.

While our industry is continually changing with new media channels, platforms and technologies, the one constant is creativity and talent.

In fact, I would argue that creativity matters more than ever in this new era of AI.

Technology like Gen AI has removed many of the roadblocks that once existed in bringing ideas to life.

It has created access to infinite amounts of information and allowed us to connect and share ideas faster and easier than ever before.

When you can establish a true union between humans and machines, this technology can have a multiplier effect on creativity that leads to better ideas and solutions. If not, it can lead to a sea of sameness.

As everyone is deploying the same tools, creativity is what will make some work stand out from the rest.

It’s what will drive exceptional outcomes for our clients, and that’s why it matters as much as it does at Omnicom.

As exciting as the technology is, I do not see a future where Gen AI will replace humans or create groundbreaking work without a symbiotic relationship with humans.

The brilliant ideas of our people is what will ensure Gen AI is harnessed in a way that properly and cleverly captures the depth, complexity and unpredictability of consumers.

So, while Gen AI is having a profound effect on our industry, it will always only be a partner to our people’s creativity.

It’s the rocketship that will launch their creativity to new heights, or as we like to say, give them superpowers.

The immense potential of Gen AI is why we are running towards it responsibly and why we were quick to strike first-mover partnerships with Adobe, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Getty and others in an effort to explore the new technology together.

Because of those partnerships, we now have integrated several large language models into our open operating system, Omni, and have hundreds of cases where our agencies helped clients use Gen AI for campaigns.

Here is a highlight reel of some of our work.

This year at Cannes, we will see a lot of outstanding work from all over the world, and I expect a decent portion of that work to embrace Gen AI.

My prediction is that the winners will be the campaigns that excel in combining this technology with a very human, creative element. Those will be the ones that take our breath away.

John Wren is chairman and chief executive of Omnicom.

The series continues tomorrow with the views of Dentsu's Hiroshi Igarashi. You can read Mark Read's column here and Yanick Bolloré's here

Campaign UK

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