The introduction of ChatGPT has already prompted a round of soul-searching among advertising execs. ChatGPT, the AI chatbot from OpenAI, has already been embraced by real estate agents, who use it to generate responses and user prompts., according to CNN Business.
Ad execs have also toyed with using ChatGPT to create ads. This new capability has opened up a round of new concerns for advertisers.
We talked with Stephanie Bunnell, senior vice president of marketing for digital advertising firm Aki Technologies, about what the future holds for such experimentation. Below are edited excerpts of that conversation:
Marketing Daily: What's the most tangible way marketers are using AI technology right now?
Stephanie Bunnell: In the B2B world, we've been using it to inspire our brand and agency clients. We did a really cool special benefit event. Pre-event, we asked attendees to fill out a questionnaire detailing their different preferences in terms of favorite artist, favorite fictional character, favorite era. Then we had this element of surprise and delight where we had translated the responses into AI art that was hung in a metaverse art gallery, that they were then able to browse via Oculus.
There was an element of, “That's an art piece that I inspired. I had no idea that my responses to this questionnaire could produce said tangible object."
It's also very cool to be able to leverage ChatGPT in a way where it's like, explain our technology in the voice of Obama, or in a movie script in the style of Quentin Tarantino, or whatever brand voice we want to experiment with as we go to market.
Marketing Daily: How has it affected creativity so far?
Bunnell: With ChatGPT we can generate a spreadsheet of thousands of ideas where the creative team now has an an editor's mind, going down the list and saying, "Oh, that's good. That needs a tweak. This needs a tweak. This one's unusable." But they're plowing through thousands in an hour instead of maybe coming up with one good line every 20 minutes.
Marketin Daily: What do you think the usages of the technology will be like five years from now?
Bunnell: That’s the big conversation.
So, fun fact, my husband owns an art and fabrication company here in Oakland.
In my world my sentiment about the tech is, “This is so inspiring. I work for a technology company and advertising. This is making our jobs as creatives easier.”
And he's on the end where he's hiring artists and is s heavy into the licensing deals and making sure that these artists powering the artwork he produces get paid.
And we have had some pretty heated chats about how this is the best thing for marketing and for creativity, versus him on the specific art licensing side, where it's very scary and very threatening.
Marketing Daily:Is there anything human that people can bring to the table that a computer can’t replicate?
Bunnell: Absolutely, yes. I think what we're noticing in our experiences with an internal tool that leverages ChatGPT called Copycaster, we're noticing that currently, pop culture references and jokes don't really translate as well. That may change over time.
But there's this level of collective consciousness that humanity has, where we can be witty and funny. We can reference Ben and J.Lo's recent marriage and turn it into something clever. That level of sophisticated pop culture and humor we're noticing falls flat in our ChatGPT production, and specifically in copy for ads. So that is one area where we find our creative director sitting on her couch brainstorming how she can continue to outpace and outwit AI.
Marketing Daily: Will this put a lot of creative people out of business?
Bunnell: Certainly not with what I've seen thus far. Our creative team specifically often reports back on how things are going with using Copycaster, and ChatGPT. There is never a time where AI has output something that's perfectly polished and ready for show time.
Although I was just having a conversation with my boss. We'd just learned that Microsoft has invested, I think, $8 billion in OpenAI. And those headlines were preceded only by mere business days away, when Microsoft also laid off 10,000 staffers. So, many see this as a threat to creativity. But my hope is that it only accelerates the beautiful things that we can create, much faster and at a greater scale.