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While generative AI is evolving at a rapid rate, and the content being produced by AI tools is continuously improving, I do feel that the value of conceptual creative is often overlooked in many related discussions.

Today, we got a preview of the next wave of generative AI tools, with OpenAI showcasing its new “Sora” text-to-video tool.

All of these examples were created from basic text prompts, showcasing the potential of the tool for creation. Sora, which is not publicly available as yet, can currently only put together 60-second clips, and pretty soon, this type of functionality will be everywhere, with Meta also working on its own text-to-video tools, as well as TikTok.

Which is amazing, and these systems will facilitate all new types of expression and content. But even with these tools available, you still need to have a great idea. And while for some people, the actual production capacity is the key limitation, for most, it’s a lot more than that.

For example, I recently saw a post that talked about how, someday soon, we’ll all be able to create our own Pixar films. Which significantly underplays the time and effort that goes into writing a Pixar script.

Pixar’s writing process is actually well-documented, with the Pixar team creating their stories based on The Hero’s Journey model, and refining and tweaking initial concepts over a period of years before they even get to the animation stage.

It’s not the animation in itself that makes these films so great, it’s the character development, the story, there’s far more to being able to create great, resonant content than just having the tools that can pump out the visuals.

It is a big step, no doubt, but it feels like we’re often overlooking the importance of concept when considering what AI tools will provide.

Will AI tools mean that more ideas get a chance to breathe? Absolutely. But as with all mediums, very, very few creators actually end up breaking through and formulating projects that resonate with audiences.

90% of YouTube videos never reach 1,000 views, 51% of online creators generate less than $500 per month from their work.

Being a successful creator takes time and commitment, it takes effort and understanding, in order to learn what works and what doesn’t, and refine your approach in-step.

AI tools will clearly help to get more concepts out of people’s heads, but they won’t be a replacement for experience, and refining your creative craft. And if you want to produce truly great concepts, be it for your marketing efforts or your personal creative projects, it’s that time, that work, that will really separate you from the pack.