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27 Mar 2024

Enhancing creativity and building large scale campaigns with AI

Enhancing creativity and building large scale campaigns with AI

Can you share the pivotal moments or experiences that led you to where you are now? 

I'm Andrei. I'm a geek. I believe in empathy, curiosity, and play, and solving meaningful problems. My journey merges creativity with digital and transformation. I started out as a ghostwriter, then went into doing digital for L'Oréal, then doing social digital content, creative campaigns, and transformation for Coca-Cola.  

Besides the day-to-day work, I’ve always had passion projects in my personal time, like my band, making role-playing games modules or exploring leveraging AI for problem solving and creativity for example. 

If you were to reflect on your career, what advice would you give your 20-year-old self? 

Keep up with curiosity and solve interesting problems with people collaboratively. Those would be the two things that I think would be helpful to anybody who's starting out in their careers, and that got me to where I am as well. Just curiosity and teaming up to find and solve big, juicy problems that are important for people. 

 One of the first things you say, when you introduce yourself, is you believe in empathy and curiosity. Why are those values so important to you?  

I strongly believe in leveraging empathy and curiosity, and I try to show this in my work, but also in how I relate to people.  

Let's take empathy, for example, as I think that's critical. I work in marketing, and without understanding people’s needs, wants and fear, we can't really create anything meaningful for them that creates value. 

Without curiosity to explore and find different paths to solve the same problem, we can't get too far either. And I think these are things that apply not just to marketing but also a little bit broader.  

Maybe it's not the traditional path of saying “Hey, this is my career, I did this and that and more” but these are important things for me. If you believe what I believe, let's team up, and let's do something awesome together. If you believe the opposite, that’s a great conversation to have as well!  

What is one of your favourite projects that you've worked on, and why? 

I have two, a personal one and one at Coca-Cola. 

Let’s start with the personal one. At some point, I was curious to learn more about game design. So, I joined an accelerator called Game Lab with a group of about 40 people, and we had three months to create a game. It was really cool because it was a first for us. Through various challenges, we ended up being one of the three projects to receive resources from all participants. None of us had made a game before, but we managed to create something called Surf Runner – a pop culture inspired endless runner with a musically themed twist.  

We made it to Bucharest Gaming Week with the demo of our creation, got early feedback from real people and were even picked up by Vice. You can still find the demo on YouTube maybe. This was an amazing team up led by curiosity, collaboration, and solving interesting problems.  

Another project I loved was during our transformation process at Coca-Cola a couple of years back when my official job title was “Miracle Hacker”, haha.  

Our team of three was tasked with a big project on a super tight timeline for EURO 2020. We teamed up with the global and regional teams, a great agency partner in McCann, EUFA as well as Panini, a collectible stickers company popular among football fans. We applied design thinking to co-create a campaign highlighting how Coca-Cola and football bring people together.  

We came up with "Rivals United," where we placed stickers under the label of Coca-Cola bottles, showcasing different football players with something they shared with a rival player. You’d put two rivals' side by side and see the connection they shared - it could be as simple as supporting the same charity, surprising origins, number of languages they speak and so on. People would collect these in an exclusive spread in the Panini EURO 2020 album and it went amazingly well.  

It was exciting because we created it quickly, in a small and mighty team despite all the complexity – our initial pitch of the idea was a paper sketch of the album and stickers. And we even made an internal trailer where we role played sports presenters debating the campaign – I was the reporter on the field delivering the experiences to amplify the project while Mario and Matei were in the studio commenting, it was a lot of fun. Our mantra was “#NeverWalkAlone” and we really lived that in our journey. This project was about collaboration, empathy, and discovering what brings people together, and we’re super proud of it. Plus, the scalability of the idea was remarkable. 


Your session at the AI in Marketing Masterclass 


What will you be talking about at the AI in Marketing Masterclass? 

There are two main parts to my talk. Firstly, we'll delve into how we arrived at this point, which is crucial given the confusion surrounding AI. It seems like AI dominates everything these days, and we'll explore why that is.  

Secondly, we'll focus on solving meaningful problems using AI in marketing. The framework I employ is Design Thinking combined with AI, which aims to achieve three key objectives that I'll share with the participants.  

Firstly, we'll learn how to reframe problems to be more human-centric, which is often challenging for marketers. Surprisingly, AI can assist with this. Secondly, we'll explore how AI can amplify creativity, expanding what people see as possible. Finally, we'll discuss stress-testing solutions before implementation, where AI can be of great help as well. 


Why do people need to leverage AI in their businesses? 

There's a quote I love from Andrew NG who says, “AI is the new electricity.” It’s going to power most of our technological solutions in the near future. I also believe that AI can help amplify humanity. In marketing, if we’re thoughtful, AI can help us create more user-centric approaches and deliver greater value to people. 

It can feel like the Wild West, but that means there are lots of things to learn and lots of opportunities. There are lots of traps as well, but at this stage, it’s so accessible to everybody that it'd be a shame not to give it a shot and see what it can do. 

I think the big mistake is to think about how to use it to replace people. The big question should instead be “How do we use AI to amplify what humans can do” rather than how to replace what humans can do. 

About the AI in Marketing Masterclass: MORE INFORMATION

Quick-fire questions 


What do you like most in your current role at Coca-Cola? 

I think that this is a role about change, problem solving and adaptability, and I think it leverages my natural skills. I work with really diverse groups of people from across the world and that's fantastic. The range of problems that I'm solving is also very rich: from culture, to innovation, to marketing campaigns, to new product development, there’s a wide range of interesting problems we solve collaboratively and workshop on. 

 What is your favourite social media platform? 

I find LinkedIn to be extremely interesting. The more you curate it, the more you find people who have an interesting point of view, and the more you follow them and interact with them, the more value you can get out of it. I love how much control you have to curate your experience on LinkedIn. 

 What are your favourite AI tools? 

Custom GPTS are my favourite tools right now. I feel like an alchemist when I'm building a new one and figuring out what's the workflow for it. It's also opening my eyes to what's out there and what are the possibilities. The second one is Midjourney. I use that for my role-playing games to illustrate stuff, and it's amazing. And a surprising new one is called KREA, which does real-time visual generation. It’s great for prototyping and having a little bit more control over what you're creating visually. 

Who inspires you?  

There are a couple of people in the AI field, but the one I follow the most is Ethan Mollick. He works on integrating AI with education and talks about how to use it in a classroom. And he has a lot of practical expertise that he's sharing freely for anyone to leverage. 

What is something you're still looking forward to achieving in your career? 

I'm constantly thinking about how I can have a disproportionately positive impact. And I don't have the answer to that yet, but it's a question that I keep asking myself, and I’m keen to do that with AI. 


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