Ad creatives are turning to ChatGPT, the AI-powered text engine, to generate ideas for brands, write rapid-fire briefs for clients, play around with ad copy, and come up with TikTok sketches. But it's not quite ready to write Super Bowl commercials yet.
ChatGPT, developed by machine learning research startup OpenAI, is part search engine and part idea maker. The chatbot takes queries, like “write a recipe for chicken” or “explain Newton’s Third Law,” and spits out answers for a simple baked chicken dish or a Wikipedia-style writeup about basic physics. (Newton’s Third Law states that for every action there is an equal, and opposite, reaction, blah, blah, blah.)
There already has been a seismic reaction to ChatGPT among technologists.
At its most basic level, the chatbot seems like a search engine, but it can be more sophisticated than that, giving ad agencies a new place to spark ideas. Craig Elimeliah, chief experience design officer at agency VMLY&R, has started using ChatGPT and AI-art generators, like Dall-E and Midjourney, as part of his daily routine.
“This gives us such an advantage to at least create something that is a point of departure,” Elimeliah said in a recent phone interview, “a concept that we can put in front of our clients much faster than we could do in the past.”
Before anyone suggests ChatGPT is writing pristine ad copy, or that it’s ready to replace ad agencies, it's not. “It’s going to make the good people better,” Elimeliah said, “and I think it’s going to actually weed out a lot of the people who think they can use it as a free ride.”
“The computer doesn’t have taste,” Elimeliah said. “You still need to have good taste. You need to have good timing.”