This ad is about you

Have lifestyle ads become so predictable you can ask an AI to not just write them, but also produce them?

There was a new Nike ad last week that made me think. Not so much about buying shoes, as how these ads seem to follow a pattern. The same kind of music, the same kinds of clips, the same emotional script talking about the big things in life.

And then I wondered, what would happen if you show GPT-3 a few Nike ads and ask it to create a similar ad for another company? Or maybe for one, specific person?

I decided to find out, and began recruiting for my robot production crew:

With the robots on board, my job was to provide a company name and a product that company names. It then uses the three Nike examples to write a new script and choose some videos.

Okay, let’s see what the dream team came up with. We’ll start with an easy one: The long-rumored Apple glasses. Here’s the 64 lines I used to prime GPT-3 for this ad. For the remaining ones, my app simply changes the last three lines and submits it to GPT-3.

Do you remember the first time you saw a computer?
What if you could be that inspired again?

GPT-3 ad for “Apple AR glasses”

I do remember the first time I saw a computer, and I do want to be that inspired again. Good job, robots.

Maybe too easy. Let’s try a category that has never had a high-profile ad made for it: The simple concept of locking your bike.

GPT-3 stays true to the brief about being emotional. It elevates “a bike” to “freedom and adventure” – and uses that as a reason to lock it.

You don’t lock your bike because it’s a bike
You lock it because it means something to you

Let’s get personal

With production costs and time-spend  down by almost 100% an obvious next step is to create a unique ad for every customer.

What could that look like? Say you have a job interview in New York city, and are considering booking the trip with Delta.

To get the job of your dreams
You’ve gotta go for it
At Delta, we believe in you
We believe in your ability to get to New York City for that job interview

GPT-3 ad for going to New York for a job interview

Or maybe you—a cake-loving husband-to-be—are planning a wedding in LA. Here’s my favorite part, where GPT-3 fluently mixes cake terminology with wedding terms.

What if I told you
That when it comes to weddings
The most important ingredient isn’t the cake, the flowers, the dress
It’s chemistry

GPT-3 ad for a wedding where the groom loves cake

In this alternative script, GPT-3 plays with the payoff “the future is closer than you think”

Okay, not bad. But what if my native language is not English, and, say, Danish? Well, turns out if you prime it in Danish, you get Danish. Even when the examples are in English.

Hvad gør du, når du får en god idé?
Har du modet til at tro på den og gøre noget ved den?
Er du bange for, at andre vil tage din idé og gøre den bedre?
Eller er du bare bange for at tabe?

GPT-3 ad based on a Danish sentence - full ad script

So how many of these are cherry picked? A few. On average, I generated two ads and picked one. But mostly because they got too long. Here’s a 10 mins uninterrupted session of generating new ads.

Obviously, these ads are far from ready for the Super Bowl. But who knows, it might be a way out of a writer’s block for an overworked copywriter minutes before deadline.

One more thing: