Peggy Olson AI illustration

A machine for creativity

Peggy Olson AI marries gut feeling with data to predict viewers' emotional responses to ads

Video advertisements are expensive, and there is a lack of evidence for predicting the outcome and success of an ad based on creative ideas. Clients are asked to have faith in their advertising agency and go with the ideas that sit well in the gut from the initial stages of idea generation, storyboarding through to production. This has been the case since the beginning of advertising.

To initiate transformation in our industry, we teamed up with MIT to develop “Peggy Olson AI”, a sparring partner and artificial intelligence, that turns an all-things-go idea generation into a data-fuelled creative process. Peggy is an almanac with thousands of videos, all meticulously analysed through machine learning modules, broken down scene-by-scene, with analyses of content and how these affect the consumer’s emotional responses. Essentially, she combines the gut feeling of the creative agency, with predicted effects based on biometric responses from consumers.

Peggy allows art directors and people working with video production to test their ideas at the earliest stages of the creative process when mood boards and storylines are the main expressions of the idea. Most importantly, she offers guidance and predictions prior to investing in production, enabling creative alterations to optimise consumers’ response. In short, Peggy increases the likelihood of well-performing ads and ensures production costs are effectively spent.

Users interact with Peggy in their creative process by uploading their ideas and concepts – as pictures or drawings. In return, the creatives are met with a curated selection of ads that have similar elements and look-and-feel to spark further idea generation. As another cornerstone, Peggy predicts how the uploaded ideas might impact viewers’ attention and emotions – thereby bridging the gut-feeling with data to guide the creative direction.

In the fictional TV series Mad Men, Peggy Olson disrupts the male-dominated advertising world by providing diversity and an analytical approach to the industry. We expect a similar transformation when applying AI to the creative field of idea generation. A bold vision for transforming creativity, that Peggy is currently materialising.


Read more from Atticus Journal Volume 25
This is an excerpt from Create with Peggy 287 KB

Mathias Stuhaug


published on

10 November 2020


The Atticus Journal Technology & data

Related Topics

Artificial intelligence Data privacy

More in The Atticus Journal

Black and while illustration of activists

Brands on the front line

We expect our favourite brands to stand on our side but – with insincerity attracting as much consumer ire as inaction – companies must react carefully to activism

Illustration of senses on green background

Elastic identities

Explore how brands can engage with the wave of #ID culture and what might come next

Female climber scaling gap in rocks

Bridging the wellness gap

No longer a luxury niche of spas, yoga and detox diets, wellness is now a multi-trillion dollar global industry