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Brand Storytelling and ChatGPT: why you still need the human touch

With the swift and impressive rise of AI (Artificial Intelligence), you might be tempted to outsource your brand work to ChatGPT to cut costs, pump out content and, quite frankly, just get stuff done. But trusting AI to communicate the authenticity of your brand consistently, coherently and convincingly might be a bit of a stretch for now. Here, we’ve broken down how Artificial Intelligence can help marketing professionals and brands and which functions should be left to actual intelligence for the authentic human touch.

What is ChatGPT?

In case you’ve only ever heard the name and not fully understood or engaged with it, ChatGPT is an AI language model that has been trained to understand and generate human-like responses in natural language conversations. You make a request or ask a question in a dialogue box (in AI terms, these are called prompts), and ChatGPT uses its knowledge bank to generate a response. What is most noteworthy is that ChatGPT is designed to remember your previous prompts so you can modify or build upon them to get a better outcome.

What does this mean for brand storytelling and marketing?

What you may also have seen in the media around ChatGPT is that it is capable of authoring entire articles, website code, headlines, social media posts, photo captions, and a whole host of other brand-specific content that we rely on professionals to produce. So where does that leave us as content producers? And where does that leave you in relation to your brand identity, integrity and authenticity?

What can ChatGPT do?

There are tasks within brand storytelling and copywriting that are ideal for completion by AI, at least in the first instance.

  • Research and general information aggregation: chances are, you won’t be the first person to write a blog about something, so to save you from reinventing the wheel, ChatGPT can be a great resource to either help you understand a concept or help you summarise it simply and effectively.
  • Provide topic structure: if you’ve got an idea that you’re looking to build out, ChatGPT can help by providing suggested headings and subheadings and information to help you build out your ideas
  • Content ideation: here lies the biggest value of ChatGPT for a brand. If you’re stuck for a good headline, caption, topic or social media post, you can prompt ChatGPT to give you some options to work with. You can spend time refining your prompts to get ChatGPT to do the whole lot, or you could just use it as an ideas generator to kickstart your creativity.
  • Proofreading: whether you want it checked for spelling and grammatical errors, suggested word changes, or you need to ensure you’ve got the right spelling for a particular region, AI can provide quick proofreading assistance.

What can’t it do?

  • It can’t be your brand: as we said, it’ll find your typos and be your thesaurus, but it cannot embody the authentic identity of your brand. If you’ve spent years creating a brand narrative, chances are it’s taken you years to entrust it to a brand and marketing professional, so when it comes to telling your story, remember that AI is artificial, and brand narrative must be an authentic output.
  • It can’t do your SEO: well, not really. If you’re going to write articles on ChatGPT to get your blog up and running, go nuts. However, ask it to include links and references, and you’ll get clunky copy, bordering on plagiarism. But more on this later.
  • It can’t vouch for itself: the first thing ChatGPT will tell you is it might give you biased or incorrect information purely because it’s been taught from a database. This bank of knowledge originally contained nothing after late 2021; however, a recent update means ChatGPT’s knowledge now extends to January 2022. Either way, it can’t confidently provide any accurate information or data after that. Ask it to tell you who the current Prime Minister of New Zealand is and see for yourself.
  • It can’t close the loop: whilst AI is intelligent, it’s artificial. Whether it’s checking information, data, facts, tone, language, nuance or, most importantly, elements relevant to your brand integrity, machine learning is always going to have limitations. ChatGPT is an incredible tool for brand storytellers to automate and expedite some of the repetitive tasks of a creative role, but you still can’t beat the experience and instinct of a human.

This is an exciting and frankly terrifying time to be alive. Technology and AI gather information on our behaviours and preferences to ensure our lives are full of frictionless experiences, and while it feels like AI could be the answer to everything, we aren’t quite there yet. Your brand still needs the human element of a storyteller, someone to instil meaning and understand the nuances of what makes your brand unique. Even ChatGPT agrees; when we asked it what it can do for copywriters, it finished with this:

It’s important to note that while I can provide valuable assistance, human copywriters bring creativity, context, and personal touch to their work.

Author avatar
Prue Kingsford West