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  • Frank Gussoni

Superbowl vs. AI, Who Really Wins?

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

Many of you probably watched the Superbowl recently, so you know how it ended. It ended with my team, the Eagles overcoming many things and still finding a way to lose! Glad to see you go Gannon. Good luck with that turf!

So, what the heck does this have to do with AI? It’s a great comparison actually, so sit back and I’ll explain.

On paper, if you literally went player to player, the Eagles had the better roster, except for a handful of positions. Mahomes, Kelce, and a few others certainly rivaled Hurts, Goedert, and our bunch, but generally, overall we had the better team on paper. Far and wide from the streets of Philly to the spread in Vegas, to the broadcasters televising the game, nearly everyone had the Eagles favored. Obviously, the Chiefs didn’t get the memo! So, they still came out of the tunnel and played the game. Because human behavior and performance were the two variables no one could account for on paper.

OpenAI and ChatGPT have been the buzzwords lately, appearing everywhere from the stock market to the advertising world, and for good reason. While there is still much work to do before it becomes perfected, it is going to make the world a different place.

It will enhance certain areas of our lives for the better, but also encourage educational cheating, and plagiarism, eventually creating higher unemployment and I’m willing to guess, it will become the “end all, be all”, for the advertising world faster than you can say “game over”!

But just like the game, while it looks great on paper until AI is able to mimic human behavior, spontaneity, and human impulsiveness, it will also miss the mark as a stand-alone predictive tool for agencies and their clients to determine where to place their media and what their creative should say.

Let’s look at an example. AI is being used to predict buying behavior, based on previous information it has gathered from our previous purchases. Makes sense, right? Yes, it does. But as the AI develops a bigger file on each of us, it will begin to assume that we never want “something different” or to try “something new”.

Here’s my real-life experience. I like wine. When I drink wine, red wine is my go-to, specifically cabs and some pinot noirs. But I also drink malbecs, shiraz, Syrah, Toscana and Bordeaux. I have noticed that within the past few months the only wine offerings I am receiving, nearly 100% of the time are on cabs, even from the company that I purchase my wines from. It has become extremely clear that they believe I don’t want any other type of wine.

Then last week I received an offer from another wine supplier, I had never used before. While they had cabs and pinots in their offerings, they had many varieties of other reds and whites. Their prices were good, the selection was impressive, so I ended up buying four dozen bottles of wine. Almost the entire order was compiled of brands, blends, varietals, and white wines I had never seen before, not even from my own wine supplier.

The point is, one company thought they knew exactly what I wanted, while the other company didn’t know as much about me, so they offered me a wider variety to select from.

This is an issue that needs to be kept in mind when everyone flocks to AI for the “holy grail” in advertising. Because as AI takes over it’s going to try and narrow the audience, so every advertiser knows exactly who they are pursuing. This sounds like a good idea until you take it one step further.

Once all the cabernet wines narrow down their audience then there will be more cab wineries spending all their money on a smaller select group of the audience. The competition for sales will become fiercer. Rates will rise and effectiveness will diminish, just as it has with digital and social media in recent years!

So, clients and agencies keep this in mind. AI is going to be a helpful tool, that there is no doubt, but just like digital is not 100% the answer for many companies, neither will AI be. It’s always going to take experience and rationale to mix the facts with real human intuition and interaction.

Because just like the Super Bowl, it looks great on paper but until they can add true human behavior and interaction into the equation it may actually be just as counterproductive as it is productive, and the outcome may very well look like this year’s Superbowl results!



President & Founder of A3 media.

We’re Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.

Frank’s Take provides uncommon sense media buying advice for regional and mid-market businesses.

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President & Founder of A3 media. We’re Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.

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