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What does ChatGPT really think of agencies and marketers?

Like any other technological development, it's just a new tool. But what does it think of the industry?

By jeremy lee

With the final deadline for Cannes entries looming (and with a hefty third late fee already attached), we’ll soon see how many agencies will have entered “world firsts using ChatGPT” campaigns to win awards and dazzle clients.

As The BrandTech Group’s George Prest recently pointed out on LinkedIn, consumers won’t really care either way. That said, as a piece of technology, generative AI is a tool that is already helping shape the way that agency practitioners are doing their job and helping their clients gain a competitive edge (look out for more on this on Creative Salon shortly). “Technology is not a short-term, tactical thing," he wrote, “it's a long-term set of strategic, systematic shifts.” In that way, and as a technological tool, it’s no different from any of the other such advances that have changed the inception and production of creativity.

We all know that the answers that you get out of the likes of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Microsoft’s “new” Bing and Google’s Bard are only as good as how well trained and tuned these systems are, and the exact nature of the questions asked. ChatGPT has already gained a reputation for producing plausible but incorrect answers, and its knowledge of events post-September 2021 is sketchy. With this in mind, its views on the state of the advertising industry, what marketers are thinking, and the tension between those two parties could make interesting reading, So here goes….

ChatGPT thinks that there “are several areas in which advertising agencies can improve to better serve their clients and create more effective campaigns”. But in truth, those agencies that don’t already follow its suggestions, which include such helpful tips as :“Understand the client's business”; “Be transparent”; and “Embrace creativity”, don’t really have much of a right to exist in the first place. Equally those marketers who are kept awake at night by failing to keep abreast of “Measuring ROI”, “Maintaining brand consistency”, “Keeping ahead of the competitors” and “Managing data” shouldn’t have taken to their beds.

Where ChatGPT is perhaps better informed is in the nature of the dynamic between advertising practitioner and marketing professional. Whilst acknowledging that their relationship is mutually beneficial, it identifies tensions between agencies being too focussed on creativity at the expense of measurable results; meanwhile, marketers are singled out for putting pressure on price, making it difficult for agencies to invest in the best talent. These themes resonate through the ages.

It concludes that, while both advertising agencies and marketers play important roles in driving brand growth, and their contributions can be complementary: ”Ultimately, the most important factor in driving brand growth is likely to be a combination of factors, including a deep understanding of the target audience, a compelling brand proposition, effective advertising and marketing strategies, and a commitment to ongoing innovation and adaptation.”

In better news, ChatGPT reports that the IPA “Is likely to be a very relevant organization to you. Its resources and training programs can help you to develop your skills and advance your career, and its advocacy work can help to ensure that the industry continues to thrive and grow.” It’s view of the UK ad industry is brighter still. “It… is widely regarded as one of the world's leading advertising markets, with a long history of creative excellence and innovation. [It] is regarded as a highly respected and influential global player, and one that is known for producing some of the world's most iconic and memorable campaigns.”

So maybe, then, the UK ad industry doesn’t need to submit any generative AI firsts to awards ceremonies at all.


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