I’ve been thinking lately about an observation from Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard:
“Advertising has a bad reputation as a content crap trap …
“In this digital age we’re producing thousands of new ads, posts, tweets, every week, every month, every year. We eventually concluded all we were doing was adding to the noise.”
Marc shared this conclusion way back in 2016 at the ANA Masters of Marketing conference, years before the ChatGPT era promised to turbocharge content creation.
The advent of AI-generation by itself doesn’t fix the “content crap trap” conundrum. If anything, AI tools alone risk making the problem worse.
I like how Ian Whitworth once described AI-Generated Content as “infinite words nobody wants.”
Like any tool, it’s all in how we use it. AI tools are often presented and marketed as a magic wand icon: type a few words, tap a button, and “automagically” generate a post, an ad, an article, an image, whatever.
But the first output by default is a great averaging (or as Ian Whitworth said, “a great same-ening”) of what has already been created. We have to learn to balance human creativity with AI efficiency if we want to do more than just add to the noise.
We can’t expect to break through the clutter by adding to it.
As ex-Google product manger Pedro Dias observed in the context of SEO results:
“Your site didn’t get penalized because you used AI for your content.
“Your site got penalized because the way you used AI, and the output of your AI, was crap.”
Here are a few other cartoons I’ve drawn about Christmas over the years: