It is common knowledge that we are inundated with fast-paced visuals in the modern world, whether it be in the form of films shared on social media platforms or digital billboards located in urban areas. According to advertising entrepreneur Michele Arnese, on the other hand, there has been a comparable explosion in sound. He believes that the only way for companies to compete is with the assistance of artificial intelligence (AI).
“The sound of a brand is more and more like liquid,” adds Arnese. “More and more.” It can be found anywhere and takes on a form that is determined by the experience of the customer.
In our fast-paced and digitally connected society, he maintains that only AI can make it possible for sound to transform in this way.
In 2009, Arnese established in Munich the music company Amp, which is focused on AI. Landor & Fitch, which is a part of the WPP advertising firm, has only lately purchased the company.
Amp employs artificial intelligence to generate a wide variety of sounds for businesses. These sounds include short bursts of noise when an app begins, the sound of a bank card transaction successfully completing, as well as extended compositions for things like podcasts and social media videos. Amp was founded in 2014. The “sonic identity” of a company is what he refers to as the concept here.
The internet has recently been swamped with instances of what can be done with artificial intelligence, such as remade films (such as a version of Harry Potter with muscle-bound protagonists), new songs employing the voices of departed musicians such as Amy Winehouse or Kurt Cobain, or radical architectural plans.
So, what exactly can AI contribute to the field of sound design for advertisements?
Arnese, whose organization is one of the leaders in the sector, believes that first and foremost, humans will continue to play a significant part in the process. His in-house songwriters begin by crafting a track that will eventually be referred to as the “Sonic DNA” of the brand. This track may last for up to a minute and a half.
The first thing that artificial intelligence should do is make sure that this doesn’t sound too much like the sounds that other corporations are already using. Learning machines can also analyze the signature patterns in the music to determine whether or not they are likely to have an impact and be memorable.
Arnese explains that after this DNA has been developed, the most important role that AI will play is to enable businesses to produce music on an industrial scale in order to satisfy digital outlets.
The artificial intelligence can build theoretically unlimited music remixes from this DNA, each with unique tempos, moods, and durations depending on the circumstances. This may be the noise of an appliance starting up or the introduction music for a podcast. Before being shown to the general public, each result is validated by a human.
When compared to a person selecting and purchasing specific pieces of production music for thousands of various scenarios, employing AI is simpler and less expensive, which is one of the arguments in favor of its use.
In addition to this, computer-orchestrated brand uniformity is produced.
According to Arnese, even the briefest bursts of sound are becoming increasingly significant for customers in today’s era of in-app purchases and contactless transactions. This is because these sounds build trust with customers and help shape the identity of the business.
Arnese is originally from Italy, where he attended a clarinet conservatory and later studied information technology at the University of Pisa, developing an interest in machine learning along the way. After receiving his degree, he settled down in Germany and began a career as a management consultant.
He was afraid that music would no longer be a part of his life, so he abandoned his job in corporate America to start his own digital business that would focus on music as its primary area of interest. According to him, it was initially challenging to convince companies that they needed to invest in music; however, that dynamic has completely shifted over the course of the past few years. Back in the day, major corporations might have only produced one or two video advertisements on television each year at most.
Arnese asserts that in today’s market, “no brand is on mute.” “Some brands upload one hundred videos to YouTube every week, and we asked ourselves, how can they afford it?”
However, there is still a degree of skepticism regarding whether or not AI will truly be a “gamechanger” for the advertising sector.
“People put a lot of money into things like the Metaverse, crypto and NFTs, all the things marketers got excited about, and now they’ve had to backtrack,” warns Molly Innes of Marketing Week. “Now they’ve had to backtrack.”
She argues that as a consequence of this, many individuals in the advertising business are taking a wait-and-see approach with AI. This is especially the case considering the fact that there is currently less money available to invest in it.
Arnese is of the opinion that AI will have a significant influence on the advertising industry. On the other hand, he does not believe that it will result in the substantial amount of job losses that some people anticipate.
“AI is just another tool to do your job,” he argues. “It’s not rocket science.”
“During the creative process, it affords me the possibility to be inspired by something unexpected [that the computer develops], and that’s exactly how I put it to use.
Can you even fathom the fact that the advertising industry did not have a job title equivalent to “data scientist” ten years ago? However, it is now integrated into the standard team structure of an agency.
“Artificial intelligence is here to stay, but it will never be able to replace humans.”