CANNES – Bank of America believes that artificial intelligence, along with its upcoming digital assistant dubbed Erica, will make the financial giant more nimble and predictive with its customers. “I think it’s going to be an incredible enabler and make us much quicker,” BOA’s CMO, Meredith Verdone, says of AI in this interview with Beet.TV at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.
The bank hopes that Erica will help to humanize relationships in what has historically been a very transactional service category. As The Wall Street Journal reports, a client could say things like, “I want to send money to a friend,” or “I want to pay a bill,” and Erica could easily facilitate the transaction.
“I think this is really going to be a paradigm shift as we become much more relationship-centric,” Verdone says.
Another transition that has been under way at BOA is that of being more “audience-first” instead of looking for solutions and delivering them to audiences, according to Verdone.
“And what we’re finding, not surprisingly, is people do need more information about their finances. What we’re trying to do is deliver it in a digestible, easy way that they want to engage with it.”
One particular target is the Millennial cohort, which Verdone describes as wanting to “follow their passion” but not fully knowing whether they can afford to do so. This is one reason why BOA maintains an ongoing relationship with online learning center Kahn Academy.
On her list of exciting developments in advertising are addressable TV, “something that we’re starting to tip our toe into” given BOA’s range of service offerings and audience needs.
“The other thing we’re seeing a lot of success with is sequential video,” Verdone explains. For example, instead of running three separate 30-second spots on Hulu considering it an opportunity to have “90 seconds in front of this audience. What is the story that we want to tell them in 90 seconds and to really think about it as a short film.”
Amid all of the talk of technology at Cannes, what Verdone doesn’t want to lose sight of “is the amazing creativity that is here.” At the end of the day, “how we connect on a very human level and break through and touch our customers is really what’s going to make the difference.”