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How ChatGPT is Not Going to Impact Brand Experiential Marketing

  • December 21, 2022

Recently, the Internet’s been having everything from a laugh to an existential crisis with ChatGPT after creator, OpenAi, released their large language model free to the people.

 Short for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, the company has trained their model to interact conversationally, making it, “possible for ChatGPT to answer followup questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests.”

 Rather than add to the mountain of think pieces about how ChatGPT will change [insert industry, profession, activity], we sat down with our SVP Creative Services, Lauren Kehoe, and VP Experiential Design, Jason Immaraju, to explore how ChatGPT will not impact Brand Experiential Marketing.

Why is ChatGPT and other large language models trained to generate human-like text based on the input they receive not going to impact your work?

Lauren Kehoe: If I had all the answers to input into the computer at the beginning, that would be great. But we’re tasked with developing unique, layered, and complex human experiences – typically in response to a broad, incomplete prompt. To then find and create all the compelling, relatable elements of a Brand Experience requires nuanced ideation. And no set of criteria can prompt ChatGPT to pull from the sum of a creative’s acquired knowledge, the culture, art, music that has affected each of us in our own personal way. Not to mention, consumers today are thirsty for authenticity, community, and connection – and they’re discerning. A whiff of insincerity and we’ve lost them. ChatGPT is the opposite of what they’re craving.

Jason Immaraju: Even if clients have a clear brand identity & plan, they still need a level of expertise to translate their goals into viable experiences. I oversee a team of extremely talented creative directors who understand how to clearly articulate a vision to the wider team through internal creative briefings, research, and uncountable feedback loops. Everyone has a different idea of how something should look & feel. The creative space found in the feedback loops are where the magic happens, where we embrace the serendipitous accidents we never could have initially anticipated.

LK: The brainstorm process is tangential. Ideas always spark more ideas. You put six different sets of people together with different prompts and their answers will all be very different – informed by everyone’s individual lived experiences.

JI: Connecting the dots of that obscure 60s new wave film you watched in college to a relevant brand aesthetic is an example of the type of creativity we champion, and why brands leverage our agency’s skill sets – behind each project’s development phase lies a rich creative process where we integrate our knowledge base & experiences with the solutions we design. Although our data will never be as vast as any AI engine, we have the ability to critically edit and refine the output to achieve specific goals.

How does ChatGPT conflict with NVE’s values?

LK: To me, relying on ChatGPT is counter to one of our core pillars: be curious. Be interested in people, in emotion, in pushing the envelope and the industry. We want something new, never before seen. How can ChatGPT do that when it only pulls together data from what has already been done?

 JI: One value that Brett champions, and I rally behind, is finding purpose. Purpose fuels creativity and provides a north star for how you as a unique individual see the world. It also is the catalyst for building community – which is another aspect of NVE that is so powerful in today’s age of disconnection.

 AI conflicts with all of this. ChatGPT has no ethical compass to weigh its decisions on and also doesn’t rely on collective team input. When developing an idea, our team critically analyzes how our solutions not only meet brand goals but also serve an inclusive audience who will ultimately be an integral part of the experience we are designing. Chat GPT is only as good as the data it collects, and a lot of this data is biased (or maybe even false!). This bias can find its way into its proposed solutions, and ultimately negatively impact a brand goal.

What is ChatGPT’s role in creating brand experiences?

JI: There will always be innovations in our industry that will grow and shape us into better versions of ourselves, while shedding what’s irrelevant. I started my career as an architectural drafter, and that job quickly became obsolete with the introduction of building information modeling technology (which basically automates drawings). This early lesson taught me that adaptability is key when finding purpose in one’s profession, and that speaking to the computer is an ongoing skill we should constantly be refining rather than holding tightly to what is routine and comfortable.

 LK: I could see a world where ChatGPT is utilized to execute some of the work of acquiring new business. To write creative briefs and generate insights around a brand and their consumers; provide copywriting support once a concept has been thoroughly developed and thought out, but never to generate the creative response itself.

 JI: Like anything else, AI is a tool to take advantage of to further push creativity to new heights while understanding its limitations. If our initial brainstorms come up with ideas similar to ChatGPT’s output, then it’s also a great barometer telling us to dig deeper.

 LK: That’s such a good point, because we pride ourselves on not delivering that type of work. I love the idea of using AI against ourselves, to push the human nature of ideas, to poke holes and point out what’s falling flat.

 JI: Already, my team is putting AI to use in image generation and it has amplified our output while quickly evaporating any initial fears of becoming obsolete. In the initial conceptual ideation phase, we need to find the right visual imagery that helps illustrate the story we are trying to tell. Finding the perfect image and establishing its context in the presentation can sometimes be a challenge when we are describing an idea that hasn’t been done before. Using DALL-E we’re able to feed specific prompts that describe that idea, and help speed up the process to finding the most compelling image. However, the prompt exercise still requires multiple iterations to get it right, as most of the outputs will appear distorted & unusable. This iterative process has shown our team firsthand that AI is not as simple a solution as it may be marketed to be, and that it still requires a human who specifically understands the correct prompts it needs to be fed.

A question for ChatGPT

LK : “What’s your place in creating Brand Experiences?”

ChatGPT: “It’s important to note that while technology can certainly play a role in creating brand experiences, it’s only one aspect of the process.”