The emergence of generative AI software is democratizing creativity. By harnessing the power of artificial intelligence virtually anyone can turn their most imaginative ideas into reality. Benjamin Benichou, CEO and Co-Founder at Drop emphasizes this, affirming that “by using AI as a creative partner, we can generate a vast array of ideas and explore new territories that might have been otherwise inaccessible due to our individual limitations.”
May 15, 2023
Welcome to the direct-from-imagination age where anything we can imagine; AI can help us generate.
Embracing the unthinkable
Generative AI techniques are enabling creatives to explore previously uncharted territories. Powered by this technology, the bounds of imagination reign supreme, giving rise to the most surreal and extraordinary ideas. Benichou has been taking social media by storm with his innovative generative AI concepts. In an interview with Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, he explained, "by collaborating with AI, we can reach new heights of creativity and push the boundaries of what's possible." His visionary creations exemplify this spirit, by depicting Nike concept stores in impossible places, such as on Mars and atop Mount Everest.
Although the outcomes of generative AI may initially appear impractical or even seemingly impossible, they can act as a springboard for brands to explore deeper. When discussing his Impossible store series, Benichou says “these unconventional ideas can inspire real-world retail design by pushing architects and designers to think beyond the norm and to consider new materials, shapes, and structures that can elevate the retail experience.”
Prompt engineers are utilising generative AI techniques to craft visionary brand collaborations. Eric Groza became a viral sensation with his imaginative fusion of sustainability leaders Patagonia and Ikea. In March, Fast Company reported that Ikea executives had even contacted Groza to express their interest. Groza's generative AI repertoire also includes collaborations between Jeep and The North Face, and between Burberry and British Airways.
Generative AI empowers brands to trial potential collaborations whilst mitigating the risks associated with real-world partnerships. It enables brands to visually explore how two entities merge, giving them the ability to make informed choices on brand alignment and coherence without investing in extensive market research and prototyping. “It's an amazing tool for ideation and being able to translate what we have in mind into visual in an easier and cheaper way” Cyril Foiret, Founder and Creative Director at Maison Meta tells Wunderman Thompson Intelligence.
Generative AI is taking users by surprise by churning out content that deviates from the original intent, but that still captivates the imagination. Benichou's "Misfits" campaign highlights the power of these happy accidents borne out of AI. His AI-generated outcomes unveiled unexpected and innovative compositions, including three-legged models and oversized shoes that added a unique twist to the campaign. Benichou welcomes these fortuitous occurrences, “happy accidents happen all the time when working with generative AI, and they should be embraced as part of the creative process” he tells Wunderman Thompson Intelligence.
In the quest for innovation, brands can easily fall into the cycle of repeating creative behaviors that have yielded success in the past. However, by embracing the happy accidents of generative AI, brands can liberate themselves from the constraints of conventional thinking.
The Intelligence take
We find ourselves living in the direct-from-imagination age where creativity is undergoing profound transformation. Generative AI is empowering individuals to transcend technical limitations and breathe life into their wildest ideas. As we look to the future, this is only set to intensify. Benichou suggests, "as AI continues to evolve, it may generate ideas that surpass our current understanding and imagination. If that happens, it could fundamentally reshape the creative landscape and lead to entirely new forms of art and design."
Download a complimentary copy of our new report, titled "The age of re-enchantment," which features a deep dive interview with Benjamin Benichou.
Main image courtesy of Benjamin Benichou.