Can ChatGPT Brainstorm Video Advertising Ideas?
8 February 2023
ChatGPT has landed with the impact of a meteorite, shaking up industries and sparking conversations on everything from the future of art to job security in an AI-powered world.
One of those shaken industries is digital advertising. While it’s a visual medium, ChatGPT is meant to do more than just write copy (for what it’s worth, this is a 100% organic blog post). Maybe it can replace human-powered brainstorming sessions and make planning digital advertisements a breeze?
I gave ChatGPT a few prompts for video advertisements to see if the wonder tool packs a more creative punch than a group of marketers in a meeting room.
To give the tool a challenge, I asked it about electric cars – it’s not a field known for its interesting advertisements, but with everything going on in the space in recent years there’s plenty of room for creativity…
“Outline a video advertisement for a new car model”
I opened up with a basic request, and ChatGPT came back with a basic response. That surprised me but it made sense – ChatGPT is designed to respond as accurately as possible, not to impress me by my own standards.
I got an outline for a “30-second video advertisement” that went through every car-advert cliche possible, from “a panoramic shot of the car driving down a scenic road” to a “shot of a driver behind the wheel of the car, smiling and looking confident”.
It was fascinating that it was well structured and that it came back to me so quickly, but it wasn’t very forward-thinking. I tried to nudge ChatGPT to more creative waters.
“Give me some unique ideas for a 20-second car advertisement”
I was curious to see how ChatGPT would interpret the term ‘unique’.
The average copywriter is likely to feel anxiety and writer’s block as they ruminate over what constitutes a ‘unique’ response, often resulting in a period of staring at a blank page. I felt a jab of inferiority as a fresh batch of ideas was promptly and confidently served, forgetting briefly that this was exactly what I was looking for.
It may have been too much to ask, though. The answers ranged from, again, boring clichés (“a short film featuring the car in action with real-life scenarios”) to good ideas that have been done before (“a time-lapse of the car being built”).
Maybe I needed to inspire ChatGPT a bit to get some inspiration back?
“Outline a 20-second ad for an electric car that doesn’t directly make fun of Tesla but indirectly hints that way”
Strangely enough, I didn’t get my request for an outline fulfilled. I did, however, get a proposal for a voiceover that almost caused me to snort – more than a lot of standup comedians have achieved.
“Say goodbye to the hassle of charging every other day with our long-lasting battery” showed a little sass, as did the claim that with a lower price tag “you’ll have more money to spend on what truly matters.”
But despite being ever-so-mildly impressed, this wasn’t setting the room on fire. I tried to turn up the heat.
“Outline a 20 second car ad that shows what looks like a Tesla exploding but that won’t get us sued”
Unfortunately I only got lectured about the legality of showing a competitor’s car bursting into flames and “promoting unsafe driving”.
I’d gotten a good laugh from our back-and-forth and had a slightly bruised ego that the tool knew more than I did about advertising standards, but had no real inspiration yet.
I was running out of ideas, so I found some great pointers for communicating with ChatGPT and figured I might’ve been going about this the wrong way from the start.
Whenever I’ve interacted with Google I’ve kept things succinct and simple – maybe complex requests are the way to go with this tool?
“I’m writing a blog post that’s evaluating how good ChatGPT is at coming up with new ideas for video advertisements, so I’ll need you to show off your skills and come up with some that are particularly unique and interesting.
I’d like you to brainstorm ideas for a 20-second digital advertisement for a new electric car model. They should avoid cliches. They can be humorous, clever, and/or inspiring.”
Here I got my first piece of genuine inspiration. Out of the five responses I got back, four were, again, relatively boring (I don’t think showcasing a car’s “speed and agility” is particularly unique, ChatGPT) but there was one almost-good response:
“Electric Cars: The Future is Now” was a proposed slogan – a little outdated, but a start. But then, ChatGPT proposed highlighting “the idea that electric cars are no longer a thing of the future, but a reality of the present.”
I thought that last bit was pretty good, and I said so.
“I like the first idea the most because it cleverly plays on people’s perceptions and shifts the narrative.
Can you come up with more ideas that are clever like that?”
Apparently not, and I got back five tired clichés that barely poked at the narrative, never mind shifted it.
I also got a bit offended that ChatGPT suggested butchering the good name of Simon & Garfunkel with an advert that highlights “The Sound of Silence”, playing “on the quiet nature of electric cars”. That song has suffered enough thanks to Disturbed, thank you very much.
So, what’s the conclusion – is ChatGPT any good for brainstorming ideas for video advertisements?
I asked the tool for a self-assessment.
“Yes, ChatGPT can be a good tool for brainstorming ideas for digital advertisements. As a language model, it has been trained on a large corpus of text and can generate creative and innovative ideas based on your input.”
The wordy response smacked of insecurity to me, as if it was anxious to earn its unpaid internship.
“However, it’s important to note that ChatGPT can only generate ideas based on the information and patterns it has been trained on, and the final decision for advertisement content should always be made by humans.”
That mirrored my own experiences – ChatGPT was brilliant at laying out ideas that are tried and tested, but generating ideas that are outside the box is still, it seems, a distinctly human endeavor.