Ryan Reynolds reads from AI-generated script in new Mint Mobile ad

    • A new ad from Ryan Reynolds’ Mint Mobile was partially scripted using the conversational artificial intelligence (AI) model ChatGPT, per details emailed to Marketing Dive.
    • In the spot, the “Deadpool” actor explains that he submitted a prompt to ChatGPT asking it to generate copy that features a joke, a swear word and a reminder that Mint Mobile’s holiday promotion is ongoing. He then reads the result, describing it as “eerie” and “mildly terrifying.”
    • Leveraging an AI interface for a commercial is the latest instance of Reynolds using cultural trends to promote his brands, but ChatGPT is being eyed closely in a broader sense for its potential to automate more creative work.

    Mint Mobile claims its new ad is the first to use ChatGPT, a language-generating tool from the company OpenAI, in such a fashion. There’s not much to the commercial beyond that: Reynolds simply explains the concept and then reads off the final AI-scripted result, which is close enough to the real thing to wig out the actor (at least for the camera).

    Messaging focuses on Mint Mobile’s holiday promotion offering six months of wireless service for the price of three, which has extended into the new year as a point of difference from competitors that end their deal windows with the calendar change. Mint Mobile positions itself as a “perpetual industry challenger” and budget-friendly option for consumers.

    Now an all-star in the marketing arena, Reynolds has built up a reputation by speedily latching on to social media discussions and appearing in tongue-in-cheek commercials for his own brands, which include Mint Mobile and Aviation Gin. His agency, Maximum Effort, has drummed up consistent buzz during a period where traditional creative shops have otherwise struggled. It was acquired by the ad-tech firm MNTN two years ago.

    While the Mint Mobile spot is inherently a little stunty, ChatGPT is being taken seriously as a potential tool in marketing. Discussions around AI have waxed and waned over the years, with the tech often failing to convince as human. But ChatGPT, which launched in November, has impressed many industry watchers with its ability to quickly produce clean and coherent copy based on user-submitted prompts. Semafor recently reported that Microsoft is mulling a $10 billion investment in OpenAI, speaking to the serious early traction the software has gained.

    More marketers could experiment with ChatGPT or similar solutions this year as a cost-saving and efficiency play, or simply to engage consumers fascinated by the future-facing tech. Ethical applications of AI are expected to be one of the top agenda items for CMOs in 2023, according to Gartner. The researcher forecasts that, by 2025, savvy marketers will be able to shift 75% of operations to more strategic activities as AI streamlines creative processes and reduces friction.


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