AI Can’t Go Camping

By Andrew Helland
  • 01.18.24
  • 3 Min Read

Everybody’s got a camping story.

Whether it’s a backyard campout or a backpack trip through Death Valley, most campers have gone into the great unknown and come back with a story. Camping challenges us to use what we have, where we are and adapt to the situation at hand — much like the world of advertising. Pitching camp is a lot like executing a creative brief. It takes teamwork, and there are no shortcuts from point A to point B.

But we live in a world where convenience reigns king — where the easy road is more popular than the important road. We convince ourselves that the lowest hanging fruit really is the ripest and the tastiest. But “easy” is the mortal enemy of creativity.

In the last few years, there’s been an explosion of tools (mainly Artificial Intelligence) to help advertisers navigate the industry. These tools can also be a crutch. AI may be causing job panic and writers’ strikes in Hollywood, but it’s not taking over our internship program, Ad Camp. Here are a few reasons AI can’t and shouldn’t go camping.

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1. Sometimes It Rains

Camping doesn’t really start until disaster strikes. Only when the unexpected happens are we truly tested. Timelines shift, scopes change, things don’t go according to plan. And that’s okay! Adaptability in the workplace is a great skill to have, and AI just can’t compare. It can’t replicate a real-life situation and all its surrounding context. Projects are nuanced. Brands have established looks and standards. Clients have wants and needs, expectations and objectives. All this context all needs to be understood to do a job well done.


2. Robots Can’t Sing Campfire Songs

It’s not just about data and analytics, there’s a lot of humanity in advertising. It’s about harmony, the magic of collaboration, lived experiences, relatability, cultural significance. Good advertising is achieved by tapping into human emotions and incorporating the principles of logos, pathos and ethos. Real philosophical musings about the human condition and stuff like that. AI lacks that human touch (or tune) that consumers and clients crave.


3. Smores Taste Better Without Nuts and Bolts

AI only uses what’s already available, so sometimes you need to bring your own marshmallows to the campfire. You’ll never find a one-of-a-kind image or piece of copy through artificial intelligence. AI can’t replicate the emotional depth, intuition and complexity of human creativity. If you want to produce groundbreaking work, you’ve got to trailblaze and build your own smores. And that’s one of the best parts of advertising, making your mark in the world.


4. The Best Views Come After the Toughest Climbs

Sometimes you need to risk it for the biscuit. Take the leap. Pitch an idea that’s out there. Tell the story only you could tell. Advertising is all about risk-taking, but it’s worth it in the end. The biggest risks have the biggest rewards. Plus, risk taking is an important part of growth. It can unlock a whole new world of opportunities or moments of learning.

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And that’s where our Ad Campers come in. Interns can bring in new skills, fresh perspectives and expose us to different thoughts, opinions and attitudes. At L&S, they’ll have the opportunity to spread their wings, gain agency experience, challenge critical thinking skills and collaborate with full-time L&S employees over real client work. Advertising is constantly evolving, and if you aren’t learning and adapting, you’ll be left in the dust. Our interns help ensure we stay on our toes while we help mentor the next generation of advertising pros.

Everybody’s got a camping story. At Ad Camp, we can write new stories together. Plus, if the internet ever goes out, our interns will still be here.

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