ChatGPT – Should Advertising Agencies Be Worried?


It’s the new water cooler conversation piece – ChatGPT – the artificial intelligence (AI) that many say will transform (or destroy) their industries. In our circles of course, everyone is asking the question “Will Advertising Agencies become a thing of the past?” Heck, find one college student who hasn’t discovered ChatGPT and I’ll show you a student who is totally out of touch with the pulse of technology. Already, many have been using ChatGPT to cheat on writing assignments and are intrigued by the fact that it passed a Wharton MBA exam according to Fortune Magazine. It’s also been reported that Stanford University students have used ChatGPT to cheat on their final exams.

But back to our world. Will businesses soon be able to use ChatGPT to create winning marketing campaigns on their own, rather than depend on an Advertising Agency like 78Madison? You may recall that Ad Age recently used ChatGPT to create some sample Super Bowl ads. The ad ideas were mostly silly, but not out of the realm of what an Advertising Agency might have produced themselves. Even Ryan Reynolds decided to try it out – see below…

While AI technology is still in its infancy, we can’t ignore that it is rapidly becoming mainstream, and that AI is improving faster than most humans can comprehend. Think about it. If this is what AI is coming up with in 2023, what about 2024 or 2034?

As we see it, there are two possible scenarios of how apps like ChatGPT might be viewed as it relates to the future of the Advertising Agency business:

We’re all doomed! Clients will use AI to create their own campaigns.
Would you blame businesses for kicking the tires? If ChatGPT is already able to create somewhat acceptable ads today – not to mention press releases, Facebook ads, social posts – then how powerfully effective will it be 10 years from now. Further, will the ad industry’s creative geniuses be able to outcompete the rapid growth in artificial intelligence? Only time will tell.

Or, it will make advertising agencies better.
If you think about it, Advertising Agencies will not only be competing against other agencies (as they do today), but now, AI as well, which can create an ad in a fraction of a second. However, what AI will never be able to duplicate is the human element, the secret sauce, that truly makes an ad successfully stand out. Yes, an AI commercial may be mechanically sound, but will it touch the heart strings…the emotions necessary to get a consumer to act?

Rather than run scared, Ad Agencies need to learn how to use the power of AI to their own benefit – for testing and tweaking new ideas rapidly. A collaborative process that should honestly make Advertising Agencies better, and more efficient, at what they do. Plus, let’s be honest; will businesses really be able to tap into the power of AI as effectively as a seasoned Advertising Agency? Input matters.

No doubt, it will be fun to watch.

So, to answer the question posed in the headline, maybe, maybe not. It depends on your confidence and the pedigree of your Advertising Agency.

Joe Bouch, CEO

This is the choice – deliver what people expect or create an idea that your client would have never dreamed of. The challenge is having the imagination and boldness to develop and present the concept in the first place. Lets start a conversation.

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