‘Play in the Sand’ to Expand Reach with Your Brand

By Ryan Pleggenkuhle on December 13, 2023

Connect with consumers in new ways with these generative AI audio and visual tools. 

 "To me, the future is that we are all using these tools, and we're using them every day." -Chris Snider


Chris Snider has played the role of soothsayer before.

Four years ago, the Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication professor predicted TikTok would be the next big wave.QUOTE-BV-vert3

Many scoffed …

… but today, TikTok has more than a billion active users, making it one of the most popular social media platforms worldwide.

What does Snider see next in his crystal ball?

An increase in the adoption of generative AI audio and visual tools.

Snider’s advice to financial institutions: Go play.

“Probably all employees need to be setting aside a time each week to play in the sandbox with some of these toys,” Snider said. “Then come back with some ideas of how they want to use them at their institution.”

What “toys” does Snider recommend?

Let’s break them down by function.


Audio Tools

Could you reach your community in a more impactful way with a podcast?

The answer is “yes,” according to a recent article in The Financial Brand.

The reason for that is simple – “consumers are reading less and listening more,” according to the article.

“A lot of institutions are very community-focused,” Snider said. “Some of these tools will let them create a community podcast that they couldn’t have done before because they didn't have the editing skills.”

Today, with many meetings held on virtual platforms such as Microsoft Teams® and Zoom®, creating a podcast is easier than ever before – record a conversation (an “interview”) and use AI to edit and produce it.

What AI tools can help?

  • There’s Descript®, an AI-powered podcast editing tool. It provides editing software designed to ease the production process.
  • MURF.AI provides many of the same services as Descript®, but adds a few differentiators, such as giving you the ability to create an AI-generated brand voice for your audio (and video) ads.
  • Resemble AI® lets you create realistic human-like voiceovers, edit audio, modify existing speech, and create programmatic audio ads.
  • Don’t like to hear your own voice? Synthesize your vocal emotion and intonation with ElevenLabs.

Other audio programs to consider for your podcast:

  • Adobe Podcast
  • Stable Audio

These tools can also be valuable in creating audio ads.

“From podcasts to streaming music service, digital audio advertising is on the rise,” another Financial Brand article noted.


Video Tools 

Is video content part of your marketing repertoire? It should be.

Consider that 2019 was the first year video content accounted for more than a quarter of the time Americans spent on digital platforms, according to the Financial Brand. That percentage has since gone up.

How can you incorporate video?

“Take some footage from the town parade or the Friday night football game and use one of these tools to edit it into something you’re going to publish,” Snider said. “Or make videos for social media.”

Descript® can also help you edit video. D-ID, Pika Labs, and Runway Gen2 are other video editing programs Snider mentioned.

For short, shareable clips ideal for social media, Pictory® can help.

If you wanted to create video content but not be the “face” of it, create a digital storyteller. 

“If I wanted to create an account that is giving people financial advice, I would create an avatar to be the narrator,” Snider said.

Synthesia allows you to convert text into videos using a realistic-looking, on-screen avatar.


Music Tools 

Let’s say you’re all in on producing a podcast. You’ll need intro and outro music to jazz it up.

“On the music and sound effects side, Meta has AudioCraft,” Snider said. “Google has MusicLM. And the Stable Diffusion company’s stability.ai just came out with Stable Audio.”

Snider also mentioned MusicGen and AudioGen from AudioCraft.

Image Creation Tools

Lastly, you’ll need a cover image for your podcast.QUOTE-KS-vert-2

Even if you have no design skills, several tools exist to help you create realistic-looking image prototypes that you can pass on to a designer to make a reality. (Note: AI-generated images must have significant “human input” to be eligible for copyright.)

Here are the image-creation tools Snider has worked with:

  • Midjourney 
  • DALL-E 2
  • Stable Diffusion
  • Ideogram 
  • Nightcafe
  • Adobe Firefly 

OK, enough talk – Are you ready to see generative AI in action?

Here’s an avatar Snider created of himself using Midjourney with the prompt: “40-year-old guy with short brown hair and brown eyes.”

Compare it to Snider’s actual headshot. How’d it do?


Snider is optimistic regarding the future of AI.

“The future to me is that five years from now, every day we walk in and do things using AI as part of our job,” Snider said. “And we just think, ‘How did we ever do this before?’”





Chris Snider is an associate professor at the Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Des Moines, IA. Prior to his start at Drake in 2007, Snider spent 13 years working in journalism with stops at the Baltimore Sun, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Des Moines Register. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in business administration (executive leadership) from Drake. Snider and fellow Drake professor (and AI program director) Chris Porter publish a weekly generative AI newsletter called “Innovation Profs” — email innovationprofs@mail.beehiiv.com to subscribe.


Topics: All Things Digital, INSIGHTS eNewsletter, AI

About The Author
Ryan Pleggenkuhle

With a strong passion for writing and years of financial training experience, Ryan brings a competitive, yet fun-loving spirit to the team. His devotion to storytelling, love for collaboration, and dedication to producing high-quality content makes him a terrific match for our clients.