Advertisers Have a Positive View of AI, While Consumers Remain Wary

The study found that 72% of consumers believe AI makes it difficult to determine what content is truly authentic.

Image by Cash Macanaya.

While nearly 8 in 10 (77%) of advertisers view artificial intelligence (AI) positively, only 38% of consumers share this sentiment. This is according to a new study from Publicis Media and YahooTrust Through Transparency: The Future of AI and Advertising,” which polled over 1,200 U.S. consumers and more than 350 U.S. advertisers.

The study, which highlights a disparity in AI sentiment between consumers and advertisers, also found that 53% are not familiar with companies’ use of AI in advertisements, demonstrating that brands have an opportunity to build trust in AI by being transparent with consumers about their use of the technology.

“While advertisers are already bullish on AI, a significant portion of the population has yet to tap into the benefits of AI,” said Elizabeth Herbst-Brady, Chief Revenue Officer at Yahoo.


 

“Consumers are less concerned about brands and marketers using AI, but rather identifying when AI is used. Transparency will be vital for brands to maintain long-term consumer relationships and generate positive brand equity.”

Overall, AI-generated ads with noticed disclosures significantly boosted brand perceptions and provided a 47% lift in ad appeal, a 73% lift in ad trustworthiness, and a 96% lift in overall trust for the company.

Key themes on the future of AI in advertising

Publicis Media and Yahoo prepared the following summary of the report:

Trust Through Transparency

Advertisers can build trust through transparency when using AI. To gauge consumer acceptance of AI-generated imagery, respondents were presented with different types of creative, some with and some without disclosures that AI was used to create the ad.


 

Overall, AI-generated ads with noticed disclosures significantly boosted brand perceptions and provided a 47% lift in ad appeal, a 73% lift in ad trustworthiness, and a 96% lift in overall trust for the company. This proved true across industries, especially those with historical sensitivities like finance and healthcare.

Authentic or AI

The study found that 72% of consumers believe AI makes it difficult to determine what content is truly authentic. Although 61% already assume AI is used in ads, they don’t know how to identify where.

Generational Divide

Younger generations are leading the charge in embracing AI, with 84% of Gen Z respondents reporting they use at least one AI tool today, compared to 68% of Millennials, 54% of Gen X, and 40% of Boomers. Consumers are also starting to find more use cases for AI beyond simple Q&A (44%), with other leading uses being writing (35%) and to brainstorm and generate ideas (33%). Interestingly, 67% also say they want AI trained on “unbiased and fair” data.

Advertisers’ Optimism

Advertisers are highly optimistic about AI, with 86% already using it in their roles. They identify its benefits in three key areas: greater efficiency, with 87% noting AI cuts manual task time; higher-order tasks, with 83% saying it frees up time for more creative and strategic work; and financial results, with 81% observing AI’s ability to boost sales.

Advertiser Use Cases for AI:

When asked about AI’s real-time capabilities for advertising, 81% believe AI will enhance ad experiences through optimal timing and placement; 80% foresee an increase in ROI via real-time campaign optimization and insights; 79% expect AI to facilitate strategic pivots in response to market shifts; and 78% see AI’s role in creative personalization to strengthen emotional audience connections. 77% also anticipate AI will help shorten the time between ad exposure and a purchase.

“Advertisers recognize the value AI can bring beyond streamlining and optimizing processes,” said Herbst-Brady.

“There are growing opportunities for AI usage. Marketers are ready to adopt these future solutions across measurement, brand suitability and safety, and targeting and segmentation.”

Picture of Bobby McGill

Bobby McGill

Bobby is the founder and publisher of Branding in Asia.

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