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What GEN-Z copywriters think about ChatGPT

Updated: Dec 26, 2022

Rewind a couple of days.

I’m sitting at home - drinking AMAZING Portuguese green wine - when I get a lil notification on my phone.

“Carolyn, are robots really going to steal our jobs?”

I open Instagram to take a closer look.

I have 30 unread messages from my followers.

All about freakin’ ChatGPT.

To be honest with you, I’d heard about it but I didn’t know it was gaining THIS much traction. So I did a little digging - turns out, it was a trending topic on Twitter.

I asked a few people why they were so worried.

“A recruiter told me it was gonna take my job one day.” “My parents said it’s safer to look for more tech-based jobs.” “My boyfriend’s in banking and he said it’s time to pivot.”

There was a pattern here.

None of the people spreading this, ‘robots are going to take over copywriting’ spiel were actually copywriters. They weren’t even writers (or at least, they weren’t getting paid to write).

It was always someone’s uncle, someone’s friend in tech, some reporter.

Were their concerns genuine?

I’m sure 90% of them were, butttttt they weren’t the ones in our position - they weren’t the ones writing for a living.

So I decided to do my own lil case study - I’d research ChatGPT so I could come to my own conclusions.

And I’d ask my GEN-Z copywriting community what they thought about this lil bot.

After all, aren’t we GEN-Zrs supposed to be ‘adopters’ of tech and super on it when it comes to trends?

I mean we’re the next generation of copywriters, so I think our opinion matters (and maybe, just maybeeee it will ease your mind too).

But first, what is ChatGPT and why all the concern?

ChatGPT’s basically a chatbot - it’s a model created by OpenAI that’s trained to interact in a conversational way.

A bit like a human.

But it’s not human - and that’s where all these worries and doomsday visions have emerged from.

We’ve seen so many sci-fi films about robots ‘taking over,’ - I, Robot, The Matrix, 2001: A Space Odyssey - and it’s never really been good.

Hollywood has always seemed to make ‘tech’ the antagonist.

“Hollywood’s technophobia stems all the way back to the 1920s with movies like Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Metropolis portrays these scientific advancements as some sort of nightmare as one huge machine injures and kills several workers. Lang’s message is as clear as day: These machines will be the weapon that will destroy humanity.” - Maria Flora, Consequence

But the truth is, robots have already taken over.

They may not be running the world or trying to literally take over humanity, but they’re there. At the supermarkets (hello, self-checkout tills). At the airport (hello, automated passport screening). Even in the skies (hello, automation in airplanes).

So it’s not that surprising that ChatGPT has been invented - I mean, it’s always a convenience thing for us humans.

How we can make something faster/safer/more efficient?

And this is actually one of the reasons I’m personally NOT scared of this lil AI bot - because I see the possibilities in it.

The strengths.

I see what it could do for copywriters - how it could make our jobs a little easier.

I see us working ALONGSIDE it, not against it. I see us embracing it, taking it on, learning a bit, adapting to it.

I think the real problems will come if we DON’T embrace it - if we try to run away from it. Because ChatGPT will become more widespread in companies and agencies and job roles.

“The businesses that understand the significance of this change — and act on it first — will be at a considerable advantage. Especially as ChatGPT is just the first of many similar chatbots that will soon be available, and they are increasing in capacity exponentially every year.” Ethan Mollick, Harvard Business Review

And if all of us writers are gonna flee and retreat back to our romantic writer dens - where typewriters and word processors and all those nostalgic artistic things live on - we’re not gonna be able to keep up.

We’ll fall behind.

I mean, I do understand the concern - we’re artistic. We’re sensitive. We love the humanity of things.

And how could a bot EVER write like we do - with the same emotion and blood and sweat and tears?

Butttt I think we kinda need to ‘get with the times’ and just embrace it in a bear hug - if you take the time to learn and understand something, it usually becomes a little less scary.

A lil more in your control.

My experiment with ChatGPT

So that’s exactly what I did.

I spent a weekend reading up a bunch of articles and case studies on the lil bot.

But more importantly, I put it to the test.

I embraced it.

I played around with it.

I discovered that you could make it write copy if you insert clear instructions. And that if you wanted to revise or tweak something, you just had to enter another prompt.

I made it write a story about a man that falls in love with an apricot (THIS was legendary - but more on it later).

I made it write a promotional email for my GEN-Z copywriting community.

I even asked it if it would take my job

This was its response:

It pretty much echoed what I’d thought all along.

And brought me to a few other cool use cases - I could use it for proofreading or drafting.

And as I’d discovered in my little ‘learn-and-test’ session, I could also use it to kick my creative muscles into gear.

To help clear up my writer’s block.

I mean, just try it.

Ask it to write a story about ANYTHING and see what it comes up with - it’s pretty addictive.

But enough about me - here’s what my GEN-Z copywriting community thinks

Leon-Paul Lynn - Freelance Games Copywriter & Narrative Designer

As a writer working in tech, and having been exposed to my fair share of AI in the past, I was never really worried about ChatGPT. Was I impressed? Of course. Its coherency is cutting-edge, and I’ve never come across an AI you can workshop ideas with so easily and extensively.

But it won’t take your writing job. Ask it for two or three variations of the same idea, and you’ll quickly see the cracks. It struggles to deviate from the patterns it’s discovered.

CHATGPT generating a response to Leon's prompt to 'write a welcome email for a copywriting newsletter.'

ChatGPT functions by learning from and repeating trends and cliches. It doesn’t have the capacity to spit out sparkling, personalised, and unique copy like you or me. I would even argue that until it becomes sentient, it never will. And that’s a different conversation.

So, it’s not our enemy—but it’s not a gimmick either. It’s a tool, I think.

ChatGPT excels at spitting out common structures and repeating patterns. Have you ever had a faster way to get an idea for the average structure of a type of copy or story? Or to draft the exact copy you need? I can’t think of a faster road out of writer’s block.

This isn’t something to run from. It’s something to work with. Like the other writers here have said, it’s an assistant. It’ll show you proven formulas, and the latest trends, all within a potential rough draft for your copy on the days you need something fast, or just can’t string two words together. Or both. I know I’ve been there.

Isabel Wilkowski - Freelance copy & content writer

Today during my lunch I decided to finally check out ChatGPT. It’s the copywriting AI bot everyone’s been raving about.

I typed in the title of a blog I had written in the past. I watched my screen, a little bored. I wasn’t expecting much. Then, after a few seconds of waiting, I watched it write excellent copy.

My immediate response was alarm.

Severe panic.

Intense horror.

"Oh s***."

I've only just begun my career and now the robots are taking it over? Fantastic.

Having had time to knock back a stiff drink (by which I mean tea without milk), I’ve now calmed down. This is a good thing. Like many other copywriters have said, this is going to be a useful tool for us, but it can’t do our job.

Firstly, it can’t write better copy than me. When I gave the bot adjectives to describe the tone of voice I wanted, it wasn’t very consistent. I think only a human can have a sufficiently firm grasp of a brand’s personality.

I did, however, notice it tossed out some one-liner gems. I could definitely use those. The kind of one-liners your brain usually only produces at really inconvenient times, like when you’re eating lunch or running away from a cop.

I’ll also use them to help me save time when writing introductions, definitions, and little things like that.

My fear has now turned to relief. I have a personal helper! With no employee rights 🙂

Let's hope that last comment doesn’t come back to bite me when the robots take over.

Shifa Sarguru - Copywriter

I’m trying to build a career as a writer and have been told by some that it's impossible to earn a living only by writing.

Add an AI that apparently does the job better and faster than me? Yikes.

But then I was reminded of how typewriters got replaced with word processors. Or traditional artists with digital art.

Maybe we are heading towards the future where AI is a contender for our professions.

Now we cannot prevent the rapid growth of AI but we can think about the ways our predecessors must’ve been in the same position.

And to be really honest, I’d like to accept this challenge as a writer.

You think a robot can write better stories than me? Bring it on.

Alex Taylor - Marketing manager & copywriter

For a marketer I’ll admit I’m quite the laggard when it comes to digital adoption. Being in-house and in a team of one (yours truly!) makes it even harder to keep up with trends and new technology.

I’ve always been wary of “AI” - from a technical standpoint, its capabilities are often reported in an exaggerated fashion.

When ChatGPT exploded online the other week, I was first cautious, then curious. Could this language model really be as incredible as Twitter made it out to be?

I used it first for a technical SEO problem I’d been struggling with.

I’d seen it was great with code (to an extent; hallucinations abounded!) and so asked it to create some complex redirect rules using regex, which I personally find difficult.

With the help of ChatGPT, I saved 2-3days of deliberation and solved my issue within an hour. Blew my mind!

Following this success, I felt more confident using it, especially since I’d cross referenced its answers with high authority sources.

Later in the week I was struggling with a mental block summarising an email report. I popped some context and my key points into the query box, and told it to create a summary.

The result was long-winded and boring. I re-prompted it, asking it to use a “punchier” tone of voice (emulating client feedback), and to reconsider the audience.

This second output was excellent. I changed one or two words at my discretion, but that was enough to have me sold on the idea.

I don’t believe ChatGPT will ever replace me, or other copywriters. It requires careful prompting to get the answers you want; which in itself is a skill.

I think we’ll see more people using it as an assistant going forward, as I will be. But there’s no need to hang up your hat just yet - copy written by humans is so much more nuanced and of a far higher quality.

For me, ChatGPT signals a new era of automated assistants, not the takeover of an entire industry.

Viktoriia Valchuk - Copywriter & Content Manager

As a non-native English copywriter, I’ve recently discovered the wonders of AI — but it was that I turned to, not ChatGPT.

It did help me get rid of the blank page anxiety as it always has some ideas to start with. However, once I got more specific with the talking points about ONE particular product that I needed to promote in a blog post — it simply spit out some generic emotionless stuff about the features. Meh 😑

I mostly work on a short-form copy, such as social media posts and landing pages, and these types of copy need to be infused with emotions and insights. I honestly don’t see how AI could be more relatable than a human being.

Therefore, AI can’t promote stuff and convince people to buy it. And as a consequence, AI is useless if there’s no one to proofread its copy or do the magic of interpreting its ideas into easy-to-scan content🤷🏻‍♀️

Can AI be my well-spoken assistant? For sure.

But a competition? I don’t think so😉

GEN-Z isn’t scared of ChatGPT - we’re excited about it!

I think it’s pretty clear what our stance is.

I mean, we see its flaws and its shortcomings (super original copy, probablyyyyy not).

But we also see the opportunities.

The possibilities.

In short, we kinda see it as an assistant - a helpful lil tool that we can dip into when we need to.

Will we be using it to write our copy - from start to finish?


But we definitely won’t be running away from it anytime soon.

And no, I haven’t forgotten about the apricot romance

Now for a bit of silliness.

Early last week I gave ChatGPT a ridiculous prompt; write a story about a man that falls in love with an apricot.

Yeahhh, I am a bit weird.

But I wanted to see what it would make of this warped stone-fruit love saga.

This is the ABSOLUTE gem it came up with:

The funny thing is, it made the story more literal.

I was thinking up a proper ‘human/apricot marriage and have babies story’ (which is completely unrealistic and messed up) but the bot came up with something a bit more believable.

It came up with an angle that I’d never have thought about on my own.

So kudos ChatGPT - I'll be using you more often.

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