The AI Big Bang Will Usher in a New Era of Creative Innovation

The AI Big Bang Will Usher in a New Era of Creative Innovation

The pace at which AI is evolving is impossible to keep up with, and I don’t mean that metaphorically.

It’s literally impossible to keep up with.

The sheer number of tools and solutions, the ever-increasing roster of companies providing those tools and solutions, the new features the frontier models are regularly rolling out—the list of updates to pay attention to is exhausting.

But it’s also exciting.

And it’s exciting in a way that I’ve never before experienced in my career.

My excitement stems from a yet-to-occur phenomenon I’ll call the AI Big Bang—which is precisely what’s going to happen the moment the right AI-first brand meets the right AI-first agency.

In that critical moment an explosion of creativity so powerful and so unexpected will occur that it will put into motion an entirely new genus of ideas, an evolution so sophisticated that it’s going to create an entirely new species of ideas—Super Ideas so powerful that they will solve some of the biggest issues in business, and probably the world.

Right now, marketing agencies are scrambling to figure out how to adopt and weaponize AI in ways that make both them and their customers better.

Simultaneously, brands are also scrambling to adopt and weaponize AI in ways that will make them and their customers better.

But both of these entities are on separate tracks for the moment, with each one trying to figure out the right use cases and adoption path.

However,  I predict that there’s a moment in the not-too-distant future when these two entities will become the best version of themselves, by which I mean the smartest, AI-powered versions of themselves, and these two will finally meet.

Right now, there’s a lot of talk about how one day soon brands won’t need agencies.

Much of this prognosticating stems from OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s widely publicized quote, where he said that “95% of what marketers use agencies, strategists, and creative professionals for today will easily, nearly instantly, and at almost no cost, be handled by the AI…”

Ultimately, though, I think this is lazy thinking—or at least, it’s incomplete thinking.

Because what we’re really talking about here is an entirely new configuration for how these two entities will do business.

Yes, brands will suddenly be able to strategize, create, and market in ways—and with a level of sophistication—that they’ve never been able to before.

But there will still be gaps, there will still blind spots, because what makes a brand good is its ability to focus on itself almost exclusively, to constantly critique its reflection in the mirror and update it self-care regimen regularly.

But when you’re constantly looking at yourself, you’re almost never looking at anyone else.

Which is exactly what makes agencies good at what they do. They can focus on the entire landscape and see patterns and opportunities that emerge across a wide swath of companies.

Agencies are good at what they do, in part, because they are deliberately designed to be T-Shaped, to be specialized in one particular discipline, the vertical line of the T, and proficient in a few other disciplines, the horizontal line of the T.

What’s happening now is that agencies are being forced to change—not just how they do business, but how they think about the business that they’re in.

SEO agencies see the writing on the wall, dev shops are paying close attention to what could turn out to be a mostly-no-code future, and brand and marketing agencies like Thrive are trying to understand which skills will still be valuable in years to come. (Hint: strategy and design thinking.)

But the proverbial dust will settle, probably toward the end of this year, and the AI Big Bang will occur.

We’re already seeing these two forces begin to come closer together.

Last quarter, business management consultancy Accenture brought in $600 million in revenue on generative AI-related initiatives, which tells us that brands are indeed coming around, and they’re coming around fast.

It’s now the agencies’ turn to truly level up.

Our charter is to figure out what we’re now selling, which for some agencies will be something entirely new, and for others, like Thrive, it will be the more or less the same, but one or two orders of magnitude better.

If you’re still reading the news and trying to keep up with it all, and you’re waiting for the right time to become AI literate, I’m here to tell you it’s right now.

Spend at least ten hours experimenting with a frontier model, prepare for a few sleepless nights as you contemplate this new and exciting (and somewhat scary) future, and take your first steps towards becoming an AI-resilient company.

The AI Big Bang is just around the corner, which means you’re standing on the precipice of an enormous opportunity.

Now is the time to become the business you were always meant to be, with the agency partner you were always meant to have.

It’s time to evolve.

And we’d love to evolve with you.

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