The Majority of Advertising Professionals Are Using AI


  • 85% of brands and agencies are currently using or at least discussing using AI in an advertising-related capacity.
  • 67% of advertising professionals use tools like ChatGPT to brainstorm and develop basic concepts.
  • According to 92% of brands and agencies, AI’s biggest opportunity lies in improving the efficiency of existing processes.
  • While AI usage is growing, advertising professionals are very aware of the challenges the technologies pose.

Artificial intelligence — aka AI — is one of hottest topics of the past few years. New AI technologies are emerging daily, and some have already made themselves at home in everyday life. In the advertising world, this is particularly relevant as “AI” — or at least its predecessors — has been used behind the scenes as a part of automated systems for years. But now it’s showing up in new, often more visible, ways.

Considering all of this, MNTN and AdExchanger partnered to gather insights on how advertising professionals are using or plan to use AI, how they feel about the technologies, and more. Here are some of our top findings.

AI Presents a Variety of Use Cases for Advertising Professionals

Unsurprisingly, the large majority of respondents say they’re using or plan to use AI, but just how many are utilizing it for advertising specifically is noteworthy. 85% of brands and agencies reported that they are currently using or are discussing using AI in some capacity related to advertising. Additionally, 95% of respondents indicated that they expect to employ AI more in their work over the next two years.

Respondents noted the following as how they’re currently using AI and what’s expected for the future (2024/2025):

Here are some other ways advertising professionals are employing these technologies:

Bolstering team efficiency. 67% of brand and agency professionals are using tools like ChatGPT to brainstorm and develop basic concepts. But we wanted to drill further into this finding, so we looked at respondents by advertising budget. The results suggest AI is powering low-cost/no-cost creative work: 78% of respondents with ad budgets under $10 million, for example, say they are using AI tools for brainstorming and to develop initial basic concepts. This indicates that these tools may be enabling smaller organizations — that are likely more cost-conscious — to do more early in-house creative concepting.

Audience formation and targeting. 55% of the brands and agencies with the biggest budgets are using AI for audience building and targeting. However, this is still an emerging use case for 27% of respondents with an annual digital ad spend under $10 million.

While a notable amount of respondents are utilizing AI in this way, not everyone is sold on its level of success. 36% of industry professionals said using AI for audience formation and targeting has been effective, but 38% are unsure or likely haven’t done much of this yet.

As part of the creative process. In regards to developing ad creative, AI is mostly being used for scriptwriting (75%) and generating visuals (55%).

Programmatic Connected TV (CTV) campaigns. 16% of advertising professionals say they have been using AI for programmatic Connected TV campaigns. It’s important to note that brands and agencies with larger budgets are much more likely to be using AI as part of their programmatic CTV campaigns — 35% (budget of $10+ million) vs. 5% (budget of $10 million or less). These findings also suggest that brands or agencies with higher ad spend are more likely to invest in programmatic CTV.

AI’s Biggest Opportunity: Efficiency

AI usage won’t be slowing down anytime soon, so we wanted to learn what opportunities advertising professionals see for AI in 2024 and beyond. When asked, “Looking out to the future, what are the biggest opportunities for your organization to use AI related to advertising programs?” 92% of respondents said the biggest opportunity is to improve efficiency in existing processes.

When given a chance to answer open-endedly, many respondents expressed optimistic sentiments about the future of AI.

“I’m extremely positive about the impact of AI and feel that it will unlock new possibilities while delivering accelerated performance,” a Brand Director with a major consumer packaged goods company told us.

These Technologies Don’t Come Without Challenges

While AI usage is growing, it has naturally come with some growing pains. To better understand what advertising professionals are most concerned about, we asked respondents: “What are the biggest challenges or concerns related to using AI related to advertising programs?” This was an open-ended question, but the key themes in many of the responses included:

  • Generative AI output accuracy, relevance, and precision
  • Data privacy and ownership
  • Transparency
  • Legal risks and issues including intellectual property, copyright protections
  • Fraud, fakes, and nefarious use
  • Bias in AI algorithms and systems
  • Loss of creativity
  • Job security
  • Establishing industry standards
  • Need for executive and staff awareness and training
  • Time and resources to test and select the right tools and platforms
  • Building and adopting AI tools and capabilities specific to advertising and marketing

“The technology is constantly improving, and increased use yields better results,” one Brand Director reported. “However, we need to ensure we don’t let the ease of use replace our critical thinking about what is truly effective. Just like repetitive scripts in sales create consumer fatigue, inauthentic marketing that appears auto-generated will feel that way to the customer. AI is a valuable collaborator that should power up marketers allowing them to perform better.”

About The Respondents

MNTN and AdExchanger surveyed a cross-section of advertising professionals at leading brands and agencies from a variety of industries. 51% of respondents worked for brands, while 49% were with agencies.

Nearly half (48%) of those surveyed reported having an advertising budget of under $1 million, while 26% had a budget of $1-25 million, and 26% had over $25 million.

Here’s how the respondents broke out by job title:


AdExchanger and MNTN’s research indicates that AI is here to stay, and that the majority of advertising professionals are already utilizing it in one way or another. AI is a powerful efficiency tool for many advertisers, and the next natural step will be deeper integration into platforms and workflows. As AI evolves and new technologies hit the market, it will be vital to track how usage changes overall — especially in advertising.

Want more insights? Read the full study HERE.

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