OpenAI’s Sora could create a new era for video marketing—but it could also clutter YouTube and TikTok

OpenAI’s Sora could be to video generation what ChatGPT has become to text generation—a user-friendly, scalable tool that creates human-quality work. Tyler Perry put an $800 million studio expansion on hold after seeing the tool in action. And creators with access to the tool have created impressive works, from surreal nature documentaries to underwater fashion shows.

Though Sora is currently available to limited users, marketers may be the first to see Sora’s impact when the product is publicly available.

Sora is more advanced than the other tools marketers use to make videos which tend to leverage existing footage, create digital avatars, or provide editing help, rather than produce believable images.

  • Sora will be a useful tool for marketing, where budgets tend to be tight and video content tends to be short form.
  • 59% of CMOs and executives worldwide already use AI for image and video generation, according to an October 2023 Capgemini survey.
  • Another 12% plan to do so in the next six to 12 months.

Sora and other generative AI tools could create video content at scale. Examples of uses include:

  • Personalized and demographic-specific videos. Videos could include information specific to a consumer’s weather or interests, or it could include sports teams and landmarks specific to an area without requiring a reshoot.
  • Turning existing marketing content into videos. The content marketers are already creating—things like promo copy, podcasts, product listings, and blog posts—could be repurposed as video content for places like YouTube and TikTok.

But Sora presents a risk to marketers. As professionals begin using Sora, there may be a flattening effect, where content starts looking the same across businesses because people are using the same tool to create it.

Lowering barriers for creating video content may also lead to a glut of AI-generated content on YouTube and TikTok from both consumers and content farms, where it is impossible to sift between quality and garbage content. This influx of useless content already persists, but with AI generating content at scale, the problem could get even worse.

Plus, there are the existing risks associated with generative AI like hallucinations and departure from brand voice.

Video creators will need to stand out. One way is to avoid Sora altogether. Cluttered AI-generated content will make unique, creator-driven content even more effective. Video creators could also stick to AI editing tools to help with time and budgets but avoid tools that generate images. Those who do choose to use AI video tools need to make sure their content provides value to viewers.

Much of Sora’s future is up to the YouTube and TikTok algorithms. If the algorithms reinforce AI-generated content, the way Facebook appears to be doing right now with AI-generated images like “shrimp Jesus,” Sora will have high value for creators, possibly at the expense of user experience. But if they crack down on AI-generated content at scale the way Google’s latest update did, creators will need to remain heavy-handed in the video creation process.

This was originally featured in the eMarketer Daily newsletter. For more marketing insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.

First Published on Mar 26, 2024

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