My relationship with AI reminds me of the one between the Sandlot gang and The Beast. You know, the presumably terrifying dog on the other side of the fence that the boys hear horrifying myths about for years?

As it turns out, The Beast was your classic good boy and nothing to fear all along.



In the past, the mere mention of AI in casual conversation has made me uneasy.

But the fence came down, the huge dog ran over, and turns out, it’s all okay.

In fact, I think we’ll be good friends.

Writing is just about my favorite thing in the world and because I love the unique feeling of reading a line and thinking, “Damn, that’s good,” I want to experience it as much as I can in this little life.

So if I am aware there is a technology that triggers that specific dopamine release that comes from sitting back and reading a clever line, all the while helping me become a better, more effective writer, well unleash the beast.

I wanted to show an example of how ChatGPT works as my friend, not my enemy to write solid copy.

We’re starting with a blank billboard mockup for a company that produces really clever copy, Oatly.

I’ve come up with a headline using my standard-issue human brain.

It reads “Everyone’s entitled to their oat opinion.”

My intention for this mockup is to write copy that captures the charming self-awareness that is inherent to the Oatly brand, one that communicates, “We know not everyone likes us and we’re cool with that.”

I jot down the second blub but am stumped as I attempt to come up with another description of the type of person who would be passionate about oat milk. (You either know the type or you are the type. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.)

So, I turn to ChatGPT and ask “What are some other descriptions in the realm of Etsy candle maker, daily vlogger, reiki healer, etc.?

“Handmade soap crafter” appears.

“Bingo! Thanks, homie.”

I list some of the best negative Oatly reviews I can find online.

Now, I am in need of a line to close it out, one that gives off an “It is what it is” attitude.

But, that’s not exactly what I want to say…

So instead of snapping my fingers while looking upward with my eyes closed, I ask ChatGPT for some other ways to say just that.

“No use crying over spilled milk.”

That’s a no-brainer.

…And done!

The end result? A billboard that sounds like a human was behind it because that’s the truth.

I asked ChatGPT to develop copy for the same concept all by its lonesome.

It reads, “Oatly oat milk is not for everyone. We understand that some people still prefer traditional dairy milk, and that’s okay. That’s why we’ve created an oat milk that’s specifically designed for those who want to try something different. Our oat milk is creamy, versatile, and made from 100% natural oats, making it a healthier and more sustainable alternative to dairy. But, we don’t expect everyone to like it. If you’re curious and willing to try, give Oatly oat milk a chance. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy it. And if not, that’s okay too. We just wanted to offer you an alternative that you can feel good about.” 

It’s not terrible, but it’s also not terribly fun.

But even the best of friends get jealous of one another from time to time, so in my efforts to keep building up my confidence via AI affirmations, I ask ChatGPT what human copywriters can do that it cannot.

Sometimes you just need a little ego boost from AI. Now, this is the right place to insert, “It is what it is.”

It answers, “While I can provide information and generate text based on my training data, a human copywriter has the ability to bring a personal touch and human connection to their writing.”

“You always know just what to say,” I reply and wink at my computer.

Whether it’s humor, emotion, authenticity, personality, or storytelling, the rhythm behind good ads is a steady sense of humanness.

Because good brands feel human.

That’s not going to change, but neither is the continuation of AI growth.

If we choose to see it as a friend and not a foe, this can be exciting instead of terrifying.

You know, like a sweet, slobbery Mastiff.

So to my fellow copywriters, brand makers, and story shakers, consider this your personal invitation to transform your potential enemy into your newfound sidekick.

But lastly, as you begin to befriend AI, keep in mind, just like any other friendship, it’s important to understand your counterpart’s limits and strengths.

Because truth be told, your human friends are probably much more fun at parties.

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