ChatGPT: the two-minute noodles of content marketing?

If you work in business or marketing, the chances are that you’ve already heard a lot about ChatGPT. It’s the latest ‘new kid on the block’ in the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and smart chatbots. And, if you believe the hype that’s been clogging up our social feeds, it’s going to transform how marketers produce their written content.

But is ChatGPT (alongside other AI content tools, like and Ryter) really going to replace the need for an experienced human content writer?

The ChatGPT proposition: AI-generated content writing in an instant

What ChatGPT delivers is a way to produce written content from very minimal prompts. I typed in ‘Write me a poem about Brussel Sprouts’ and this was the output:

“Little green buds, so small and round
Growing on the stalk, without a sound
Brussels sprouts, you’re often hated
But when cooked just right, you’re highly rated”

“Bitter or sweet, it’s all in the way
You’re prepared, on Thanksgiving day
Roasted with bacon, or sautéed with butter
You’ll be the star of the dinner platter”


Not bad, right? I mean, if my 9 year-old daughter had written this for her homework and showed me the poem, I’d be impressed (apart from the terrible rhyme of ‘butter’ and ‘platter’). 

But it’s also not amazing. It reads like a fairly conventional poem, sure. But then that’s probably the key issue I have with it. It’s VERY conventional.

An AI can only base its output on the data and the models it’s been provided with. So the content it produces is always likely to sound very ‘samey’. And, if you’re trying to make your marketing stand out in the digital noise of the current market, do you really want your content to sound samey and generic?

Beige content, for a beige digital world

AI content writing is designed to solve three key issues:

  • It produces content that sounds (to a degree) professionally written
  • It produces this content very quickly indeed, speeding up turnaround times
  • It removes the need to contract a writer, and saves you money on their fee

These are all sensible ‘efficiencies’ if you’re running a business, or trying to manage a marketing department budget. But are any of these three capabilities going to get you better, livelier, more memorable content?

The answer is, no, they aren’t!

What you will have is some cheap, fast, generic content. But it will be beige in the extreme. It will do the job, but without ever excelling or pushing the boundaries

The two-minute noodles of content

Let’s use an analogy. For me, ChatGPT is like a pot of two-minute noodles.

Yes, you get some food. And you get that food very quickly and conveniently. But is it the best food you could have hoped for? Does it have unique and delicious flavours to tantalise your taste buds and make you come back for a second helping?

Instant noodles are practical and utilitarian. But they are NEVER going to win any Michelin stars. They exist because of the pressing human desire for convenience.

They’re a solution to a problem. For example: 

  • Don’t have time to cook lunch? Eat noodles.
  • Not great with the old culinary skills? Eat noodles.
  • Nothing to eat in the cupboard? Eat noodles.

The noodles fill a convenience gap, but they definitely don’t deliver a meal fit for a king or queen. In much the same way, ChatGPT fills a similar convenience gap. It gives you a tool to deliver basic content in a fast and productive way.

  • Don’t have time to write a blog post? Use ChatGPT.
  • Not great with your writing skills? Use ChatGPT.
  • No blog ideas in your content cupboard? Use ChatGPT.

But is this what you want from your brand’s content? A convenient ‘snack’ that keeps your content pipeline flowing but delivers the same beige, generic crap as your competitors?

Use AI as a tool – but don’t try to replace writers

Developments in technology have a ripple effect on specific jobs, processes and industry standards. Software automation is reducing the need for low-level data-entry clerks, by adding efficiency and removing human error, for example. But we’re not (yet) at a point where content chatbots like ChatGPT can fully replace a living, breathing, opinionated writer.

Yes, you can produce lots of middle-of-the-road AI-generated content and assume this is great for your SEO scores. But there’s no point in producing content that results in millions of clicks if the blog entry people read is yet another ‘two-minute noodle’ post. It’s not going to inform people. It’s not going to engage and convert them. It’s a placeholder for the real thing – and relying on placeholder content is never going to help turn readers into brand advocates.

What you need is the creativity of a human writer.

Machines and software can mimic what people do, but they can never match a human’s ability to create, to express a personal worldview or  to pull something new from the universe. This extract from Rick Rubin’s new book, ‘The Creative Act: A Way Of Being’ really nails it:

“Flaws are human. And the attraction of art is the humanity held in it. If we were machine-like, the art wouldn’t resonate. It would be soulless.”

Rick Rubin, The Creative Act: A Way Of Being

And this is where AI-generated content falls down. Superficially, it looks like acceptable, genuine content – a generic blog post like many others. But, at its core, it’s soulless, dead and free of humanity.

This is not to say that AI is useless. AI can be helpful to knock content ideas around. You can write blog structures and outlines. You can write a rough draft of an article and flesh out an idea with it. But, PLEASE don’t think you can send these AI-generated articles out into the world without the eye, skill and humanity of a human writer. 

If you want a delicious meal, hire a top chef – don’t make yourself noodles

If you want first-class, insightful, original content, hire a top writer – don’t use ChatGPT

Get writers to write your AI prompts

Just in case you were wondering, the ChatGPT algorithm agrees with me. I gave it the following prompt to write a short blog section around this noodle analogy.

This was my prompt:

“Write me a 100-word blog section that uses the analogy that AI content writing tools are the equivalent of what a two-minute noodle pot is to fine-dining cuisine. Explain that AI content writing tools have a place and a purpose, but that their output will always be generic – whereas a human writer will always add something original, insightful and unique.”

This is what it came up with:

“AI content writing tools are like instant noodles – they may satisfy a quick hunger, but they can never replace the experience of a fine-dining meal. Similarly, while AI tools can generate text efficiently and at scale, they lack the nuance and creativity of a human writer. 

Sure, they have their place and purpose, such as generating basic content or completing repetitive tasks, but they can never match the originality, insight, and uniqueness that a human writer brings to their craft. In a world where content is king, human writers remain the gourmet chefs of the digital age.” 


Not terrible, I think you’ll agree. But it’s helped by the fact that I (a human writer) gave it a detailed prompt, which contained an original idea and a very clear analogy. 

So, if you absolutely MUST use ChatGPT et al to produce AI-generated content, please get an experienced writer to come up with unique ideas, write your prompts and edit the resulting output.

Over time, our role as writers is likely to change, and we’d rather be part of the AI revolution than a casualty of it.

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5 thoughts on “ChatGPT: the two-minute noodles of content marketing?

  1. Very interesting analogy insight into how AI technology is changing marketing and content writing. I definitely prefer the gourmet meal to pot noddles.

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