AI & the communications industry

AI & Automation:

Words rich people use to make you fear for your job.

Advertising and PR specifically, are in their infancy in India. Unlike the US, the UK and other places that call themselves ‘first-world’, India’s communications industry started well after the 60s. There were large format ad agencies and marketing functions of big firms, but it was largely disorganised and didn’t find direction till they were well into the 80s when the first crop of PR, advertising and media agencies started to prop up.

Like most give (agency) and take(brand) functions, this brought a homogenous type of people. Communities started to form and collectives began to, well, collect.

Globally, after 2007, there seemed to be a tsunami of digital. We were probably hit with it last when the ‘Social Media’ and ‘digital marketing agencies’ started melting into PR, Advertising and Media buying industries.

The brand side looked on. Some liked the diversified nature of the industry – an agency for ‘this’ and an agency for ‘that’. Some preferred the ‘One stop shop’ approach. But there still was this sense of ‘I know that guy/gal. S/He does good work. Let’s give him/her the mandate’

What’s your point? That is still going to happen.

I don’t think so.

Merit is back in action baby!

We’ve now found our stride as the start-up hub of Asia. According to a report by Inc42, in CY21, Indian startups raised over USD 2.1 Billion in funding.


spending power is now going to get more diversified


results will talk.

Uh. So where does AI fit into this?

Here are 10 ways how AI will transform our industry:

It’s inevitable. Hop on. Or…

  1. Analytics: With tools like IBM’s Analyse, data analysis has been transformed into bringing down heavy, time-consuming and people oriented tasks from days to minutes (if you know, what you’re doing). These tools help not only in analysis but can also make predictions about how trends will move and how customer behavior may change based on certain stimuli.
  2. Writing: In an earlier article, AI and Writing, I demonstrated how easy it was for a pseudo-intellectual like me to create a completely bot written article that made sense. Apps like WordAI and Quill, although expensive, can make the content writers job easier, better and more precise.
  3. Coverage Tracking: There will be a day where the Account Director has to stop telling the trainee to count the square centimetres of an article to count AVE. And they’ll probably not get shouted at by the client for missing a piece of coverage. With basic AI tools like GoogleAlerts cross integrated with your tracking tool, this is already possible at scale.
  4. Film production: With ‘video’ being one of hottest keywords in our lexicon in 2020-21, tools like Synthesio.AI can create a majority of explainer, presentation and corporate videos for little to no money. All you need is a script and a smart editor.
  5. Influencer selection: One of the coolest AI projects I saw this year was Although it’s basically a better mouse trap, it does what it promises and delivers very clear and focussed results. No mucking around.
  6. Media buying: Ask any digital media buyer. This is ALREADY happening. Google and Facebook have built in AI in both AdSense and FBX respectively.
  7. News publishing: In 2019, BBC launched one of the smartest news publication tools ever. Its simply called Juicer. Won’t say much. Go have a read.
  8. Task Management: With tools like and other similar platforms, managers basically just need to have a look at their tasks in the morning. Make a couple phone calls to their juniors during the day to re-align (if necessary) and have a check in the evening. That’s basically it.
  9. CRM: Ever wondered if that’s a person or a bot talking to you on Swiggy’s chat interface? It’s both.
  10. Art and ad copy: Ever heard of Canva? (rhetorical). It recommends the best designs, templates and even colours to suit your taste. Even the more evolved Photoshop and Illustrator now give automated recommendations.

So should I quit and run for the mountains?


Adapt, stupid.

The better we learn to work with AI, the better we are represented as a country to the world. Our strength as an industry is resilience, hard work sprinkled with creativity a dollop of common sense. AI is the ultimate catalyst we need.

I’d love to see the day where Indian start-ups focus on making AI tools for the industry. Perhaps we could see Indian PR and ad agencies make them too?

Stay curious. stay secure.

See you next week.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Jai Bahal
Jai Bahal - Co-Founder @ NAVIC
NAVIC aims to educate, inform and train students, professionals and entrepreneurs about the future of communications. NAVIC has collaborated with SCoRe for its flagship course: EVOLVE – A first of its kind curriculum that discusses hyper-relevant subjects like Meme Marketing, Trolls and Bots, AI in communications and more.

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