Generative AI is impacting opportunities for brand engagement—with 80% of companies slated to adopt some form of AI by 2026—everything from how we work with clients to the kind of work we produce is transforming. Used well, it can be an incredibly effective tool to personalize customer experiences and build dynamic campaigns.
For our client Loretto, a Central New York non-profit leader in comprehensive healthcare services, the journey into AI was spurred on by budget constraints that meant producing a new round of TV spots wasn’t feasible. Our years-long partnership had built strong brand recognition and creative admissions and recruitment platforms, bolstered by an even stronger spokesperson—Loretta, a spunky senior personifying Loretto’s continuum of care. But challenges in the second quarter of 2023 meant that in-person work with our Loretta actress wasn’t possible. With momentum that neither Mower nor Loretto was willing to lose, we turned our focus to new technologies that, with a bit of agency investment, could yield strong results for Loretto.
We believed that AI was a viable option—particularly an AI-animated character who could mirror Loretta’s mannerisms, from her quips and narrative asides to her style of speech. We wanted to remain authentic to the Loretta we’d created, so we tapped an AI voice simulator and technology to sync AI Loretta’s lip movements and voiceover for a natural look. And by compensating the real Loretta actress for her likeness, we were able to keep the character alive without incurring in-person production expenses.
But every good campaign still needs a hook. Ours? A tailored social media plan strategically timed with the December holidays. Knowing that, as families gather for celebrations, they might notice subtle cognitive changes in their loved ones that aren’t obvious from a distance, we wanted to keep Loretto’s continuum of care in the forefront of their minds. The AI Loretta holiday campaign included a holiday singalong, Christmas cookie baking, and New Year’s jokes delivered with Loretta’s signature sass.
The unprecedented social media response that Loretto saw in the wake of the campaign launch reflected the campaign’s innovation itself. With over 1.5 million social media impressions in the first four weeks, we reinforced our messaging with billboard placements and help from Loretto’s in-house social media and internal communications team. AI Loretta is now a Loretto fixture, creating impact for a fraction of the cost and effort that a video shoot would have required.
The meteoric rise of generative AI stands poised to change the way we communicate. But what we communicate doesn’t have to be all that different. With a strong brand platform and a meaningful message, it can be an incredible tool to enhance brand engagement and push creative boundaries.