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Could OpenAI's text to video AI model Sora change the game for brand films?

Could OpenAI's text to video AI model Sora change the game for brand films?

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Last week, OpenAI unveiled its newest AI model that can create realistic and imaginative scenes simply with text instructions, Sora. With Sora, industry professionals will now be able to create realistic and complex one-minute-long videos all without leaving their seat.

This is more important than ever before especially as more brands are turning to brand or campaign films in order to capture the hearts and minds of consumers, a need that Sora may be well-placed to fill. 

In fact, consumers today watch more videos and the demand for short-form content has rapidly increased, with 66% finding the type of content to be the most engaging, according to a report done by Munch, an AI-powered automation platform for social media.

Don't miss: Sora for dummies: 101 on OpenAI's new text to video AI model

According to the report, video content is no longer an option, but a necessity for business and brands aiming for success, with 42% of businesses preferring Instagram and 26% preferring Facebook to post such videos. TikTok does not rank among the top three platform choices for marketers. 

With the rise in video content, more brands, particularly those on the smaller scale, might want to look to AI models such as Sora to reduce the manual labor and costs involved in creating a brand film from start to finish. However, there are still many considerations that marketers need to take note of. So, what are the potentials and pitfalls?

Firstly, there is no question that its introduction has created a widespread "wow" response across multiple industries, notably marketers and content creators, according to Don Anderson, CEO of Kaddadle Consultancy. However, until the tool is officially in the wild, and more marketing and creative professionals are able to get their hands on Sora, it’s difficult to say whether this will become the must-have option for content marketing and brand film development, and whether it will effectively answer safety concerns. He said:

At this initial stage, Sora may be best relegated to storyboarding or concept and ideation, and client presentations, rather than full brand video creation and ad campaigns

"Given where we’ve come from in the past year with these tools, that will surely change in the next six to 12 months, and we may see Sora’s wider application in small to medium-sized business marketing campaigns and video ads, given it will further democratise and drive down the costs of video creation," he added. 

Managing potential copyright issues

Saying that, Anderson noted that there are a number of considerations that marketers need to take note of. 

"The biggest challenge with Sora is rights ownership to these clips – the tool is not actually generating anything new but culling from what its large language model (LLM) is being fed," Anderson said. 

He explained that it is effectively just rendering a different representation of images it has "consumed", and that there are still a lot of unknowns as to what this will mean in terms of copyright infringements by basing outputs of pre-existing work, particularly large databases of clip art and stock video.

"Brands and their agencies will need to give great pause to how they’re planning to integrate this tool into their day-to-day planning and production — they’ll need to ensure that creative directors have developed clear guidelines to its application and require detailed reviews of all AI-driven content to avoid potential hidden biases and copyright infringement," said Anderson. 

He added that internal legal teams will most certainly need to be aware and apprised of any use and application of its outputs in ad campaigns and other external-facing marketing collaterals, because all it takes is one misstep in its application for consumer and brand trust to be impacted.'

Bringing authenticity and trust into the fold

Additionally, it is worth noting that Sora outputs will likely include a watermark that identifies the content as AI produced. Marketers will need to consider how this applies to publicly available ad campaigns, and how consumers will interpret this content, particularly at a time when brand authenticity and trust has never been more paramount, he said. 

"We also don’t know yet whether there will be any potential overlap or reproduction of the Sora’s creative outputs, meaning that whatever the marketer requests of the tool are absolutely uniquely generated for them," said Anderson. 

There is potential for embarrassment if the text-to-video generated clip finds its way into other campaigns, if that is not the case.

With all these potential pitfalls, Sora may be something that marketers can only consider for the future and not in its present form, according to Jay Soo, CEO and director of Moving Bits who was agreeing with Anderson. 

"Like anything AI generated currently, you won’t be able to use it wholesale. You would take what’s usable and mix it in with something that originates from the human mind," said Soo. "Use the AI to kickstart the process, then use the results to inspire the human brain. The AI should just be an accelerated catalyst to produce even better work."

What should marketers be doing instead?

Saying that, while there is a larger margin for error at the present moment, marketers need not completely write off Sora, nor should they. According to Soo, marketers simply need to get better at using it. 

"One thing I’ve learned about AI, it is all about the prompt. The more accurate your prompt, the better results you will get. So, learn the best prompts for the AI you’re using," Soo explained. 

It is also crucial that internal brand and agency teams are given the proper education on its use, according to Anderson. 

"If they haven’t already developed standards and practices policies, now is the time to lean in because this technology is advancing faster and more progressively than imagined," he said. "It would be beneficial for brands and agencies to amend any existing AI playbooks created to reflect Sora’s introduction and the implications of its use."

Anderson added that marketing and creative teams should ideally view Sora as just another tool in their process – it shouldn’t be relied on for solving all matters of development and execution. Creative teams should view Sora as an opportunity to quickly and more efficiently visualise their ideas and use the outputs to produce something more human and authentic, rather than a synthetic, AI representation of their ideas. They have to be cautioned about becoming too reliant on these tools, in creating “quick wins.”

At the end of the day, Anderson says:

Brands need to avoid pushing Sora’s use as a means of cutting marketing and creative budgets.

"More than ever, creative directors will need to empower their teams to push for authentic, human-led creative development – brand trust and authenticity, not to mention artists’ livelihoods, will depend on it," added Anderson.

Join us this coming 24 - 25 April for #Content360, a two-day extravaganza centered around four core thematic pillars: Explore with AI; Insight-powered strategies; Content as an experience; and Embrace the future. Immerse yourself in learning to curate content with creativity, critical thinking, and confidence with us at Content360!

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