Published date: Thursday, 9 March 2017

What does AI mean for the digital advertising industry?

Today we open the blog to Alex Kozloff, who is the recently announced, COO at the IAB.

alex_aiAlex has been named as the 3rd most influential person in mobile in The Drum’s 2015 “Mobile Top 50”, alongside being previously nominated in the Drum’s 30 women in digital under 30, and Media Week’s 30 under 30. Prior to the IAB, she worked at IPG media agency and managed media research at France Telecom owned Orange and Unanimis.

We are delighted to announce that Alex will be speaking at our conference, Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Us! Join us at The British Museum on April 11th. Ensure you RSVP as spaces are limited.

Keep an eye out for more speaker announcements coming soon!



AI is one of the hottest topics in the wider media at the moment, and we at the IAB are keeping a close eye on what it means for the advertising industry in particular.

AI is starting to become more valuable in automating planning, buying and optimising media spend as it allows brands to target more specifically to audiences and demographics. This leads to better conversion and of course, better success. According to the 2016 IAB/PwC Digital Adspend Study, 60% of display advertising in the UK was traded using programmatic direct and indirect technology

It’s not only the delivery of digital advertising which AI is already impacting, but with some brands the creative itself is benefitting from intelligent computing that can learn and adapt to serve more relevant ads to each consumer. One of my favourite examples of this dynamic creative optimization in action comes from the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. As this video explains, artificial intelligence helps stitch together a storyline which is highly relevant and targeted to each individual- whilst not coming across as creepy or overdone. I expect to see lots more of this in the future – AI helping the initial creative ideas and stories that we humans generate, providing us with the ultimate tool to help refine our creativity.

Lastly, a newer use of AI technology, chatbots, are the source of much discussion in the advertising industry. It’s still really early days to fully understand what bots, both in their voice and non voice forms, mean for how brands connect with their consumers. Taking one example- chatbots were launched for Facebook Messenger in April 2016, and since then over 30,000 chat bots have been developed for the platform. From Starbucks to Domino’s to smaller fashion retailers, brands have already been experimenting with what this technology means for selling products directly to consumers in the twenty first century.

There is so much potential in how AI can help digital advertising continue to grow, improve and change, it feels like we are very much at the beginning of the story. As with all technology, it’s what you do with it that counts, so I’ve no doubt the very big brains in our industry will keep thinking of ways to use this nascent technology to create new and exciting ways for brands to connect with people that will continue to surprise and delight us all.