AI and the future of consumer engagement in marketing

The Rising Significance of AI in Marketing

Imagine a chocolate wrapper that tells a story with every fold, a digital copy of a celebrity sending personalized videos inviting people on a cruise or AI with the power to tell you what to eat before you know it. At VML, we’re turning these imaginations into reality, shaping the future of marketing with AI. In the rapidly evolving marketing landscape, AI, with its ability to anticipate trends, personalize and analyze consumer behavior on a large scale, is transforming the way brands connect with their consumers and for brands seeking to stay ahead in a digital-first world, these capabilities are invaluable. This piece will explore how AI applications affect brand perception, reach and engagement. The importance of ethics and brand safety in utilizing AI and how to tailor it to the Indonesian market, starting with a few case studies from VML’s global offices.

VML x KitKat’s “Have AI Break” Campaign

In KitKat’s campaign, AI was the star, utilized to automatically generate images, narratives, audios and videos. This new method helped KitKat engage with younger audiences, especially Gen Z, who are increasingly drawn to generative AI.

The campaign was live with 30’, 15′ and 6’ social and digital video, as well as 30’ audio and podcasts. All of them were automatically generated by AI with minimal human intervention in creating them.

Results: The campaign delivered 850 million global impressions and closed with 38% social media engagement (above the campaign target) and significantly increased KitKat’s Gen Z sentiment. (Source)

VML x Virgin Voyage’s “Jen AI” Campaign 

In collaboration with Virgin Voyages, we built a generative AI-specific campaign, with an experience that allowed users to experiment with a digital replica of Jennifer Lopez called “Jen AI” to create customized invitations to the user’s friends and family inviting them to join a cruise.

These video invites can be personalized You can tell Jen AI to send customized messages in relation to particular milestones you want to celebrate.

Results: Not only did the campaign reached a total of almost 20 million people, but also drove a significant 140% increase in web traffic for Virgin Voyages. More awareness = more traffic = more invites, 25,000 personalized invitations sent out as a result. (Source)

VML x HungerStation’s “The Subconscious Order” Campaign

HungerStation went live with the “The Subconscious Order” campaign in collaboration with our KSA team. This campaign utilized AI to anticipate users’ subconscious tastebuds through participation in multiple-button navigation correlations.

It could analyze user facial and app usage responses to produce a personalized meal recommendation, frequently reading the users mind many pages before they had even turned it, predicting the user’s preferences before they even realized them.

Results: Campaign resulted in 40% more visits per order and 25% more revenue per order Consumer retention rates also improved by 30%. (Source)

Ethics, Brand Safety, and AI 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is currently one of the most powerful tools, with infinite possibilities for the future. Since there are currently no officially recognized ethical considerations in the use of AI, it is important for brands to thoroughly assess the risks associated with AI before implementing it. Therefore, it is important for brands to disclose any AI usage to promote transparency and safety usage.

Some points to consider:

  • Data Security: Consumer data should be secured and protected. By safeguarding Consumer Data to ensure brand compliance with Data Protection Acts, brands can prevent the possibilities for excessive data utilization.
  • Bias and Fairness: AI Models are more likely to have unfair bias outcomes if the training data which is used, does not properly represent a wide demographic user. Fairness also raises a moral question: Is it ever acceptable to use an AI application that is not demonstrably fair to everyone?
  • Transparency: Brands need to be open about AI utilization. They must specify exactly how AI-powered content is generated and annotated. Be transparent. We believe that the more you share, the more you are trusted, and the stronger responsible behavior becomes part of your brand.
  • Copyright Compliance: It is important to ensure that utilization of AI is in compliance with the copyright laws by protecting the rights of the creator. Especially in the case of open-source AI, wherein trust and legal integrity depends on accurate accreditation and compliance to licensing terms. WPP is currently working to address this through partnerships and investment in “WPP Open” platform, where we scrupulously enforce copyright compliance via legal compliance and an adherence to the best practices regarding copyright, with special attention paid to open-source AI tools.

AI Utilization in Indonesian Market 

Indonesia is a special market that has lot of opportunity to use AI for brands with new marketing strategy. In a country where the digital economy is robust and the population is tech-savvy, having AI can strengthen the connections with consumers.

  • Cultural Personalization: Indonesia is culturally diverse and AI can tailor marketing content to each culture based on behavioral data. These efforts can help to increase consumer engagement, brand recall and, most importantly, consumer-brand relationship, as the consumer knows and feels that the brand understands and cares about them.
  • Content Generation: AI excels at creating creative content, and if such content relates well with your brand or product, then your audience will surely be interested and engaged with it. Like the KitKat campaigns, Indonesian brands might be able to leverage AI to create new and engaging content that resonates with its audiences. 
  • Building Collaborations: Brands can partner up with many AI entities available in Indonesia, for example like PIKA (Pusat Inovasi Kecerdasan Artifisial) or KORIKA (Kolaborasi Kecepatan Inovasi Kecerdasan Artifisial Indonesia) to help your brand remain updated with the AI implementation, these collaborations will be vital to help the brands in Indonesia to utilize the state of the art in AI technologies and knowledge for them to drive their marketing strategies and consumer engagements.


The Subconscious Order campaign for HungerStation, Jen AI campaign for Virgin Voyages or Have AI Break campaign for KitKat are some early but significant creative examples implemented by VML using AI in marketing. AI-powered content creation, personalized recommendations and data analysis offer modern businesses a way to communicate better with consumers and drive meaningful business growth. 

AI will become even more prevalent in marketing as it evolves. The brands that adopt AI-driven strategies will be able to meet with the demands of the modern-day consumers and can continue to remain competitive. Indeed, the future of marketing (and consumer engagement) largely rides on the backs of AI advancements. This is a world where creativity and technology support long term growth. 

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