Felipe San Juan, Co-Founder & CEO, Oysters AI Spain

2024 AME Grand Jury Spotlight: Felipe San Juan, Co-Founder & CEO, Oysters AI Spain

New York, New York | March 25, 2024

Welcome to AME's exclusive interview series, where we cast a spotlight on the globally respected members of the AME Awards Grand Jury. Strategic, innovative, analytical critical thinkers, and creative storytellers dedicated to ensuring brand awareness and equity – these qualities embody AME's Grand Jury. Serving as emissaries of effectiveness, AME's Jury members, recognized globally as industry leaders and award-winning marketers, ensure that every entry submitted to the AME Awards is evaluated with the utmost care and consideration.

2024 AME Grand Jury member Felipe San Juan is Co-Founder & CEO of Oysters AI Spain. He brings years of strategic leadership to the jury panel. Throughout his professional career, Felipe has gained extensive knowledge in business and brand innovation in different markets and industries. He has consistently shown his ability to drive significant growth for the organizations he has worked with. As a perceptive leader, Felipe excels in bringing together diverse teams, setting a commendable example, and using emotional intelligence to create a vibrant work environment. HAving served as the former CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, and Member of the European Board, he sucessfully led various pan-regional projects, delivering great results for brands the such of P&G, Toyota, VISA, Häagen Dazs or Coca-Cola.

Felipe has an open mindset and constantly seeks new endeavors. His professional pursuits reflect this attitude: from expanding BATES' business in Latin América from Miami offices to leading the establishment of a new innovative and creative business unit at GOOGLE, focusing on large advertising agencies and enhancing revenue from key clients.

He also ventured into a new initiative at DDB with his family in New York and later took charge of launching a Canadian SaaS leading platform, CASTING WORKBOOK, for the casting sector and talent agencies in Spanish-speaking countries. These are just a few examples of the challenges he has faced.

Skilled at using technology and content strategy to enhance brand’s marketing in the ever-changing media landscape, Felipe enjoys providing strategic insights and delivering exceptional results to clients.

In the interview below Felipe does a deep dive into  how Data analytics and AI have brought about a paradigm shift, how brands are leveraging augmented reality (AR) and virtual try-on experiences, the integration of brands into the metaverse, the seismic shift in media marketing and so much more.

AME Awards: Why are effectiveness competitions like the AME Awards important?

Felipe San Juan: Effectiveness competitions go beyond being an added value and become the very essence of the marketing industry’s business model. The AME Awards specifically focus on the measurable impact of a campaign, bridging the gap between creative expression and business outcomes. This emphasis perfectly aligns with the changing landscape of advertising, where the convergence of data and creativity drives success.

These competitions nurture a culture of excellence and continuous improvement. They motivate agencies and marketers to strive for not only creative brilliance but also strategic excellence. This is particularly crucial in an era where the effectiveness of advertising is under intense scrutiny due to the multitude of channels and the sophistication of the audience.

Moreover, having worked as an ad executive for the last 30 years, this award allows me to closely monitor the emergence of trends, technologies, and innovative strategies. Acting as a gauge for the direction of the industry, it empowers me to proactively adjust my knowledge and remain at the forefront.

Lastly, winning or even being shortlisted for an award like the AME can significantly enhance an agency's or professional's reputation. It's a powerful marketing tool that can attract talent, clients, and partnerships, thereby fostering business growth. It validates the effectiveness of advertising work, reassuring clients and stakeholders of the industry’s commitment to excellence and its capability to deliver measurable results.

AME Awards: How has the use of data analytics and artificial intelligence impacted the effectiveness of advertising campaigns? 

Felipe San Juan: Data analytics and AI have brought about a paradigm shift in how we approach advertising. Traditionally, advertising was often guided by intuition and creative instinct. While these elements remain crucial, Data and IA have enabled a level of personalization, efficiency, and strategic insight that elevates both the art and science of advertising. It is important to mention:

1. Personalization at Scale: 

AI enables us to analyze vast datasets to identify patterns, preferences, and behaviors of individual consumers. This means we can tailor messages and creative content to resonate deeply with specific audience segments, or even individuals, at scale. Such personalized advertising significantly improves engagement rates and campaign performance.

2. Predictive Analytics:

Data analytics allows us to predict consumer trends and behaviors with a high degree of accuracy. By understanding what consumers are likely to want or do next, we can create advertising strategies that are not only reactive but also proactive. This forward-looking approach ensures that creative campaigns are relevant, timely, and effective.

3. Optimized Spending: 

The precision offered by data analytics and AI means we can allocate advertising budgets more efficiently. By understanding which channels and messages are most effective for reaching the target audience, we can optimize spending to maximize ROI. This level of strategic allocation was much harder to achieve with traditional advertising methods.

4. Enhanced Creativity: 

Contrary to the fear that AI might stifle creativity, it has actually provided creative teams with new tools and insights to enhance their work. AI can analyze successful elements of past campaigns and offer suggestions that might not be immediately obvious to human minds, thus enriching the creative process.

5. Real-time Adjustment: 

The real-time processing capabilities of AI and data analytics mean we can continuously monitor the performance of campaigns and make adjustments on the fly. This agility ensures that we can respond to consumer feedback, emerging trends, or changes in the market landscape instantaneously, keeping our campaigns highly relevant and effective.

As we continue to navigate the evolving digital landscape, the integration of these technologies will undoubtedly remain a cornerstone of effective advertising strategies.

AME Awards: In what ways are brands incorporating augmented reality and virtual try-on experiences in their advertising to enhance the online shopping journey? Can you share examples of successful campaigns that used AR or virtual try-ons to drive consumer engagement and conversion?

Felipe San Juan: Brands are increasingly leveraging augmented reality (AR) and virtual try-on experiences to enhance the online shopping journey, reflecting a significant shift in how consumers engage with products digitally. These technologies offer immersive product visualization, allowing consumers to see how items look on them or in their spaces, thus bridging the gap between digital browsing and the tangible feel of traditional shopping.

By providing personalized shopping experiences, AR and virtual try-ons help reduce the uncertainty often associated with online purchases, thereby minimizing returns and enhancing customer satisfaction. This interactivity not only boosts engagement but also fosters a deeper brand connection, making these experiences memorable and shareable.

Integrating these technologies directly into e-commerce platforms and social media channels, brands create a seamless and convenient path from advertisement to purchase. Moreover, the data gathered from these interactions offers invaluable insights into consumer preferences, informing future product and marketing strategies.

IKEA introduced ‘IKEA Place’, an AR application that allows users to visualize how furniture and decor items would look and fit in their own space before making a purchase. By leveraging ARKit technology from Apple, ‘IKEA Place’ lets customers select products from IKEA's catalog and place them in their homes using accurate scaling, thereby providing a realistic preview of the product in their environment. This app not only addressed common customer pain points, such as uncertainty regarding size and style fit but also created an engaging and interactive shopping experience. The success of ‘IKEA Place’ lies in its ability to increase consumer confidence in purchase decisions, drive engagement by encouraging users to explore and play with different options, and ultimately convert interest into sales.

Sephora launched the ‘Virtual Artist’ feature on its mobile app, which uses AR technology to allow users to try on different makeup products virtually. This feature enables customers to see how various shades of lipstick, eyeshadow, and other cosmetics look on their own face in real-time, using just their smartphone camera. Customers could experiment with different looks, share them on social media, and make more informed purchase decisions,The ‘Virtual Artist’ feature not only significantly enhanced the online shopping experience by providing a personalized try-before-you-buy option but also drove higher engagement rate.

AME Awards: In terms of conversational marketing, how do you develop and implement strategies that leverage AI-driven interactions to enhance the customer experience?

Felipe San Juan: Fundamentally it is about to enhance the customer experience effectively. Here's how this can be achieved:

> Understanding Customer Needs and Preferences: 

AI can analyze large datasets from various touchpoints to identify patterns and insights, helping tailor conversations that resonate with customers on a personal level.

> Integration Across Platforms: 

AI-driven interactions must be seamlessly integrated across all customer touchpoints — websites, social media platforms, messaging apps, and voice assistants. This creates a cohesive and consistent experience, regardless of where the conversation takes place

> Developing a Conversational AI Framework: 

This involves training chatbots and virtual assistants using natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to understand and respond to user queries in a natural, human-like manner. The framework should be capable of handling a wide range of interactions, from answering FAQs to providing personalized product recommendations

> Personalization and Contextual Interactions: 

By utilizing data collected during interactions, AI can customize responses and suggestions based on the user's past behavior, preferences, and context. This level of personalization makes the customer feel understood and valued, enhancing their overall experience

> Feedback Loop for Continuous Improvement: 

This continuous loop allows for the refinement of AI algorithms, ensuring that interactions become more accurate, relevant, and engaging over time

> Ensuring Privacy and Security:

As AI interacts with customers and collects data, it's paramount to prioritize privacy and security

> Empowering Human Intervention: 

While AI can handle a significant portion of customer interactions, there should always be an option for human intervention. Complex queries or situations where the customer prefers to speak with a human should be seamlessly escalated to ensure satisfaction.

An example of a recent launch that I believe achieves these goals are the new Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses. In partnership with EssilorLuxottica, the new glasses feature improved audio and cameras, over 150 different custom frame and lens combinations, and they’re lighter and more comfortable. Users can now livestream from the glasses to Facebook or Instagram, and use “Hey Meta” to engage with Meta AI, its advanced conversational assistant, just by using users’ voice. 

AME Awards:  How has media marketing changed the way brands engage with consumers? Are there standout brands who are excelling at skillfully reaching consumers in their own personal lane of interest?  

Felipe San Juan: It has undergone a seismic shift, primarily driven by the digital revolution and the emergence of social media platforms.Media marketing today is characterized by a deep understanding of consumer behavior, personalized engagement across multiple channels, and content-driven strategies as it leverages data analytics and ML to analyze consumer behaviors, preferences, and patterns.

These insights allow brands to deliver personalized content and advertisements that resonate with individual consumers' interests and needs, significantly improving engagement and conversion rates. Netflix's use of AI to personalize recommendations has set a new standard in content consumption, making it easier for users to find shows and movies of interest. Their marketing strategies often leverage their vast data on viewing habits to create targeted advertisements that resonate with specific audience segments.

Also key is users multi-channel engagement, from traditional media to social platforms, email, apps, and more. This omnichannel approach allows brands to reach consumers wherever they are, using the platforms and media they prefer, thus enhancing the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. Nike excels at reaching consumers by leveraging a mix of influencer partnerships, social media, and immersive experiences.

Last but not least, I believe ‘Content is King’, with brands creating valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience in this new omnichannel environment. Spotify uses data analytics to offer personalized music and podcast recommendations, creating a unique listening experience for each user. Their ‘Wrapped’ campaign, an annual summary of users' listening habits, encourages sharing on social media, further enhancing engagement.

AME Awards: What brands are effectively integrating themselves successfully into the metaverse, and what do those brands offer the consumer? 

Felipe San Juan: I believe there are beautiful examples illustrating how brands have successfully integrated into the metaverse, offering consumers innovative experiences that extend beyond traditional advertising or retail paradigms. These brands have set benchmarks for engagement, community-building, and brand loyalty in the digital age, demonstrating the vast potential of the metaverse as a platform for creative and immersive brand marketing. For example Coca -Cola went beyond and entered the metaverse with the launch of a new virtual flavor, creating an immersive experience that allowed consumers to explore the brand. It created buzz and increased the engagement with audiences beyond the physical taste of a beverage, offering a multi-sensory brand experience that leveraged sight, sound, and community engagement in a digital realm. Also Nike - Nikeland on Roblox is another good example of a virtual space that mirrors the brand's ethos of innovation, sports, and community. In Nikeland, users can dress their avatars in Nike gear, participate in sports challenges, and even design their own mini-games.