A.I. and the End of the Copywriter?
While it may have gotten lost amidst your holiday and year-end craziness, one of the biggest A.I. stories of 2022 happened on November 30th. The launch of ChatGPT. Developed by Open AI, ChatGPT is designed to learn from and then generate human-like text. It’s an offshoot from creating chat technology for customer service needs. And it’s prepared to write just about anything you want.
Need a 250-word article on the life of Beethoven? How about a one-minute, motivational speech about hamburgers? Or maybe you’re looking for (and this is where I paused) a new TV campaign for your brand? Just ask ChatGPT. It’ll whip up something in seconds. You can ask to make it serious, funny, or even rhyme. As someone who has spent many hours staring down a script, typing, deleting, typing some more, reading out loud, rethinking, rewording, revising all in search of the right message, the instantaneous output of ChatGPT was collectively amazing and maddening.
However, after spending some quality time with ChatGPT, I’m not so worried for all us writers out there. Not yet. While I am not smart enough to know how the A.I. in ChatGPT works, I do know it’s based on replication. When I asked it to write an ad, the copy generated was fast yet forgettable. While impressive, it didn’t leave an impression. It all felt way too familiar… too formulaic. No nuance and very questionable personality. With that said, I do think it could be a constructive tool for writers. So instead of fearing ChatGPT, here are a couple of ways to apply it:
Use it like Google without the time suck of searching. If you’re trying to learn about a subject, particularly a complicated one, ask ChatGPT to explain it. For example, I asked ChatGPT to tell me in 250 words how ChatGPT works. It nicely summed itself up with background on its origination, understanding of where it pulls its text data from and how it works in automated chat settings.
Find word inspiration
Whether you’re stuck in the mud with writer’s block or trying to find another way to say something, see what ChatGPT can contribute. Like a designer combing through Pinterest for visual inspiration, ChatGPT could spark something for writers. As an example, and for entertainment value, I asked it to create a song about soup, a monologue about life insurance and in an Irish accent tell me why potatoes are so good. “Ah potatoes, the humble spud,” it quickly sprouted. You never know what might jumpstart your keyboard.
Make it your new thesaurus
All writers have their go-to words, phrases and structural approaches. Certain brands and their categories can also find themselves saying the same things as everyone else. In advertising, differentiation and fresh messaging make a big difference. So while ChatGPT may not write a catchy tagline or thought-provoking headline (Trust me, it won’t), it may provide inspiration as you look to break away from the same, old messaging.
Like anything in the A.I. world, only the future truly knows the impact ChatGPT, or its next iteration, will make. I think it’s safe to say (for now) that copywriters who have a passion for words that spark interest, strategic marketing know-how and the all-important ability to deliver personality and humanity won’t find themselves being swapped out for robots. So rather than looking at this tech as the enemy, let’s see what use it might have. It’s interesting, and at the very least, entertaining. Here are just a few of its creations:
Write a one-minute motivational speech about hamburgers
Ladies and gentlemen, I come before you today to talk about something that may seem small, but that can have a big impact on our lives: hamburgers.
Hamburgers are more than just a delicious meal – they are a symbol of possibility and potential. When you order a hamburger, you are choosing to nourish your body and fuel your mind. You are choosing to invest in yourself and your future.
But hamburgers are also about more than just sustenance. They are about coming together, about sharing a moment with friends and loved ones. They are about celebration and joy.
So don't underestimate the power of a hamburger. Whether you're enjoying one alone or with a group, take a moment to savor it and appreciate all that it represents. And remember, every time you take a bite, you are choosing to invest in yourself and your future.
So go out there and enjoy a hamburger – and let it inspire you to be your best self. Thank you."
Write a rap song about soup
Verse 1: I'm feeling hungry, but I don't know what to eat
I need something warm and satisfying, something that can't be beat
I open up my fridge, and there it is, the answer to my prayer
A pot of soup, so rich and flavorful, it's beyond compare
Chorus: Soup, oh soup, you're my go-to
Soup, oh soup, you never fail me
Soup, oh soup, you make my day
Soup, oh soup, you're here to stay
In an Irish accent tell me why potatoes are good for you
"Ah, potatoes, the humble spud. But don't let their simplicity fool you –
these tasty little vegetables are actually packed full of nutrients!
For starters, potatoes are a great source of potassium, which is important for maintaining a healthy heart and regulating your body's fluids. They're also a good source of vitamin C, which helps to boost your immune system and keep your skin looking healthy.”