IPG places ‘first-to-market’ bets with Adobe on latest generative AI tools

Agency holding company IPG has chosen to throw its lot in developing the next iteration of generative AI tools and products with Adobe, per an announcement the two companies made yesterday.

Although IPG will also use other generative AI tools from other companies as well as those of its clients, there are elements to the partnership that will give the holding company first crack at new Adobe tools — IPG executives referred to it as a “first-to-market deal” numerous times. 

It’s part of more than $100 million IPG says it is committing to building out AI across the holding company. And it builds on relationships the two companies have already — Adobe is already a major software supplier to IPG. 

Jayna Kothary, IPG’s chief solutions officer, and Jason Brown, who is IPG data unit Acxiom’s general manager for cloud and platform services, explained the deal as having three primary prongs. 

IPG Engine: it’s a platform powered by numerous Adobe products under Adobe GenStudio that IPG’s been building for a long time. It marries data to content to commerce, with customer experiences as a unifier, designed in a way that’s meant to work at the intersections of media, CRM and creativity, said Kothary. In other words, it cuts across all of IPG’s operating units.

“We fundamentally believe that we’re going to create value for clients at those intersections — more than ever before, clients are asking us to generate value for them across the intersections of media,creative and CRM,” she said.

The broader partnership with Adobe: Adobe software, via GenStudio, will power content production across IPG, which Kothary said is already a platinum implementation partner of Adobe’s. And IPG will get first access to some of the software giant’s newest generative AI tools — not exclusively but before other customers can sign up for them. 

“To best serve our clients we need to be connected across IPG across all of the agencies serving those clients in a really consistent way,” said Kothary.

Acxiom and Adobe: Several of Acxiom’s data tools, from a wealth of data knowledge on consumers (Brown said Acxiom has on average 8,000 data attributes for every U.S. consumer, for example) to its Real ID and other data matching technology will be integrated into Adobe products, said Brown.  

“The next step is, all of that rich data that informed how we chose the audience with the individuals and what offer we were going to give them — now we can take that same data and we can inform the content and the creative through which they’re delivered that offer,” said Brown.

Kothary added that IPG and Adobe have an agreement to endorse each other’s products when jointly going to market. “They [Adobe] are advocates of the way we deliver implementation services of their products to clients,” she added.

The news was met by analysts as interesting, but not necessarily earth shattering, since there is no exclusivity — and other holding companies have already announced their partnerships. Indeed, Havas last October announced a similar deal to expand its relationship with Adobe, principally via GenStudio.

Independent media analyst Brian Wieser noted the partnership is also not unlike WPP’s partnership with Nvidia last year, in that it sounds lofty but isn’t hugely substantive — almost more of a virtue signaling to clients that IPG is taking gen AI seriously.

Similarly, Jay Pattisall, Forrester’s principal agency analyst, noted that IPG joins WPP, Publicis Groupe and Omnicom in announcing AI investments. “Marketing operating systems are about to take off, both inside agencies and brands willing to invest the dollars to build their own,” he said. 

“Within six months we’ll see brand AI models, bespoke marketing machines or algorithms, as standard offerings in agency pitches,” Pattisall added. “Brand AI models will have speed up content velocity and scale, increase cost efficiency, improve productivity and build competitive advantages for the brands and agencies using them.”

Speaking of pitches, given the abilities that generative AI will have on boosting the speed and creative limitations on creative agencies, one informed observer of IPG who declined to speak for attribution noted that IPG might have kept its BMW business if it had this platform in place. 

https://digiday.com/?p=536520

More in Media Buying

Media Buying Briefing: Can agencies help brands expand gaming and esports as women’s sports shine?

As women’s sports continue to capture audiences through March Madness and soccer, will agencies and brands be able to channel some of that momentum in the growing esports and gaming spaces?

Indie agency group Meet The People to add True Independent Holdings to expand media offerings

Independent agency group Meet The People intends to acquire marketing and advertising group True Independent Holdings, Digiday has learned.

How lack of motivation could be seen as a hindrance to solving programmatic fraud

Casale outlined some of the main challenges to solving the problems of fraud in the programmatic world — the latest boogeyman being MFAs