Is Kenya’s Marketing and Advertising Community Prepared for AI Integration?

The one place that Kenyans will always shine is the ability to adopt to their environment and make the best out of any situation. Kenya has always been renowned for its ability to adapt to various and thrive in challenging situations. One notable example of this adaptability is the emergence of “KOT” or Kenyans on Twitter (X) a.k.a KOX now, a formidable online force recognized worldwide for it’s ability to take on any country and win. Our ability to shine has also been felt with the numerous awards garnered by Kenyan startups and marketing campaigns across global platforms.

We are almost always the first country when it comes to campaigns and innovations. Kenya distinguished itself as one of the pioneering African countries to embrace Coca-Cola’s tag a friend campaign, localizing it into a notable success. Additionally, the country rapidly adopted LED billboards in significant numbers, showcasing its forward-thinking approach in the advertising realm.

The global rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has raised questions about its potential to do human tasks, including those within the creative industry. We currently have AI-powered engines that can generate logos and designs without the need for specialized design software like Adobe Illustrator or even Photoshop. The AI revolution looks like it will take out so many creatives in one swoop! Well, sort of. Ai just like design software is just a tool and a tool can only be as good as the person who wields it. Think about it, historically designers, architects and other people in the workforce used to do tasks manually and many thought computers and software would wipe out their careers. However that was not the case.

AI is set to streamline many tasks within the creative sphere, providing creatives with more time to focus on their core strengths: creativity and innovation. Those that are quick to adapt will survive and be more productive. This means that the Marketing agencies in Kenya like Design Village will have a more time to do what they do best, be creative. This will require the marketing fraternity to rethink the roles of each creative and add value with AI. We will have to reevaluate the roles played by different creatives and emphasize the unique value they bring beyond what AI can offer.

Our perspective on this matter is informed by the well-known concept of “Garbage In, Garbage Out” (GIGO), which originated with early computers in the 20s. In essence, the quality of AI output depends on the knowledge and creative input provided by humans. Therefore, embracing AI doesn’t mean obsolescence for creatives; rather, it presents an opportunity to enhance their work.

So, how do you think Kenya’s marketing community will adapt to the growing prevalence of AI?