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040: Presentations, Briefings + An AI's voice is an act of branding
[During - Session 13] There'a a huge opportunity no brand has claimed yet
We’re in the home stretch of the Future of Advertising course at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Only two more classes to go! Tonight the students presented their work for Assignment 1, and got briefed for Assignment 2.
Meanwhile in creativity…
You’re free to use Grimes’ AI voice “without penalty” to produce songs. Just split revenues 50/50. The business case makes sense, actually doing it is harder. But we’ll absolutely see creative and branding ideas emerge in this space soon, which will be cool.
I’m not surprised, are you? “Rather than steering clear of the AI tool that could make them obsolete, more and more freelancers are relying on ChatGPT to do some if not all their work for them,” writes Rashi Shrivastava in Forbes.
We’re going to see more screen-less, situation-sensing tech like Humane arrive on the scene. How we normalize this augmented approach to computing is a huge opportunity for design.
Snap’s AI enters the chatbot scene...
Pro tip: AI conversational products are branding opportunities
If you have teens in your life you might have heard about Snap’s new AI chatbot, named MyAI.
MyAI is a conversational product. Yet it feels like I’m chatting with a lawyer or crisis comms specialist dressed in Steve Buscemi’s 30 Rock character. Maybe this is why people are punking the robot?
All of this is branding. And I think Snap missed an opportunity.
It’s classic “Who’s It For?” strategy. You’d think Snap would know A LOT about its audience. And prepare its LLM accordingly. My advice: Hire some writers who write conversations for a living. Have them help train the model, too, next to the lawyers and crisis comms and coding teams.
To be fair, all of the AI chatbots have struggled with their brand voice. The key issue being they actually have a “voice.” Given the speed and dexterity of AI code, we naturally conflate word prediction with conversation. We attribute emotion and intent where none exists. Yet the opportunity remains, because choices have been made—i.e. to defer response, or use emojis or repeat legalese based on keywords.
We’re going to see a zillion conversational AI products come online, for personal and corporate use. They will become ignored, disrespected and won’t deliver gains in whatever it is we’re measuring if the voice of the AI isn’t in tune with its audience. Snap’s MyAI “speaks” like a gimmick, and is being treated accordingly. The brand who realizes the opportunity around a distinct voice, and trains its AI accordingly, will have a hit.
Presentations for Assignment #1: Sell Something New
Last week the students got briefed on Vivront, and its service: professional knife sharpening made easy. Working in teams of two, they presented their ideas this evening. I’ve yet to review the full pitches with Joseph at Vivront, so I’m only sharing excerpt photos and a synopsis of each tonight.
KAMRYN & HALLIE
Why not start the conversation with the best possible outcome? Kamryn and Hallie found focus in conversations with friends who felt inexpensive “block” knives weren’t worth sharpening. Their idea: Start relationships with Vivront’s existing knife loaner program—experience the benefits of professional sharpness before you send in your own.
ANNALISE & ZAMIRA
A sharp knife is a safer knife (i.e. more accurate, takes less effort, easier to control). And people engage in all kinds of behavior to make their homes safer. So why not connect the two thoughts? Annalise and Zamira proposed a video campaign highlighting the value and context of sharp knives at home.
LUX & ARMEL
Knives are personal. So why not thank them for their service with professional sharpening? Lux and Armel suggested direct mail “love letters” from the knives to their owners, since the entire relationship being proposed exists through the mail.
Assignment #2: Retain Loyalty
Shifting from new to known, our second assignment asks the students to develop retention ideas for Great Clips, the world’s largest hair salon franchise. With this assignment, my goal was to shift the students into future-forward media and technology. How can tools like augmented reality, AI chatbots, geo-location, photo history and social help influence a change in customer behavior? Their presentations are due next Monday.
I’ll see you Thursday with a reflection on this week’s session.
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