It was an exciting four days in Miami for the 800-or-so senior-level marketers and industry leaders in attendance at Brandweek. We heard brand-building insights, strategies, and inspiration across dozens of expert-led sessions. I also had the honor of taking the stage with Ocean Spray’s VP of Next Generation Beverages and OmniChannel Marketing, Trinh Le, plus Adweek’s SVP, Executive Editor of Thought Leadership and Practical Journalism, Paul Barbagato, to discuss the impact of AI on the advertising landscape. It was a jam-packed week full of inspiring conversations and informative content. Below I’ve summarized 3 takeaways.

#1. AI Shouldn’t Be Feared, It Should Be Honed

AI advancements in recent years have unleashed the technology’s potential to exponentially improve our marketing efforts. Yet, when it comes to building genuine connections with others, human-generated advertising copy is just more effective. Aki recently surveyed 1,000 U.S. participants aged 18 and older and the responses proved the human element is truly irreplaceable. Human-generated copy was shown to be 60% more engaging than AI-generated copy — and remained 31% more engaging than AI-generated copy even after it was edited by a human.

Equipping yourself with the tools and training that let you harness AI’s power to complement the creative process and deliver authenticity to consumers is the recipe for elevated advertising campaigns.

Aki - BW BlogPhoto credit to: Ivan Piedra Photography

#2. Power Success with a Strategic Partnership

During our main stage session, Trinh and I highlighted some campaign success tactics. This includes a look into our recent “Revitalize” and “Immunity” campaign. Ocean Spray had the objective of driving consideration and purchase of its Revitalize and Immunity products. In order to achieve this objective, Ocean Spray needed to identify and reach the right audience in a receptive moment with product messaging that would resonate on a personal level. Aki’s proprietary MomentsAI solution helped digest reams of demographic, behavior, lifestyle, purchase, and location data to deliver the appropriate messaging in key moments.

Maintaining a genuine human connection while leveraging the power of artificial intelligence to complement their marketing efforts achieved results that speak for themselves: a 5% featured product sales lift, a 4% Ocean Spray franchise sales lift, and $2 million in campaign incremental sales.

#3. Authenticity is the Key to Responding to Viral Trends

Ocean Spray is no stranger to trends. Last year, Ocean Spray launched its “Power Your Holidays” campaign which resulted in the trending hashtag, #JiggleWithUs. The campaign leveraged the festive atmosphere of the holiday season and encouraged people to embrace a playful spirit by jiggling with Ocean Spray’s cranberry product. This lighthearted approach fostered a sense of community, inspiring people to share their jiggling moments on social media. The campaign’s ability to generate widespread engagement through user-generated content contributed significantly to its success.

We also discussed the Starbucks-inspired Pink Drink Trend which uses Ocean Spray’s White Cran-Strawberry juice to replicate the popular Starbucks drink. Trinh shared her thoughts on why this trend went so viral and how to respond to these viral moments, saying the key is authenticity, timeliness and relatability. 

We couldn’t spend the week at Brandweek without trying this viral drink ourselves, so during our onsite activation we welcomed a social creator, Laura M Vila (@lauramvila) to help visitors “create their own digital brand” and provide tips as to how to create the most engaging post, while also enjoying the viral pink drink.

Aki - BW Blog

Some snaps of our Ocean Spray Pink Drink Dupe

I left Brandweek inspired by the event’s overarching theme of redoubling relevance. Amid today’s economic uncertainty, prevalence of brand switching and cross-platform noise, meeting consumers at the right place and time, with the right message, has never been more important to fostering a lasting connection.

If you’d like to discuss how Aki can help you leverage AI to grow your business, feel free to contact us and I’ll be in touch.

Risa Crandall, SVP CPG Strategy and Sales at Aki