Will’s Monthly Platform Update - January 2021

January 7, 2021

We spent much of 2020 building core functionality into the Pencil platform, focused on generating killer ads and predicting ROAS results for our users. You were able to leverage this to achieve some fantastic ROAS outcomes in 2020 Q4.

You also gave us very valuable feedback, so to kick off 2021, we’re proud to announce 3 of your most highly-requested features. These updates will simplify and improve your experience generating machine-generated creative:

  • Automatically fill your Brand Kit from a website URL
  • Generate ads from UGC videos (including sound bite detection)
  • GPT-3 copy generation!

Ready to dive in?

1. Automatically fill your Brand Kit from a website URL.

Creating a Brand Kit requires logo image files, fonts, color hex codes and brand language. It’s the first task when getting started with Pencil, and although it’s a one-time setup, it can still feel daunting.  All your information tends to be in different locations  - on your website, in your brand guidebook, on the laptops of your freelance creative team - and it’s a bummer to have to rummage around before you can get started.

This changes today. Pencil users can now type in their website URL, and their brand description, logos, Google Fonts, colors and key messaging will be automatically pulled into the platform. 

2. Generate ads from UGC videos (including sound bite detection)

Machine Generated Creative works by cutting up and remixing existing assets like product images and brand videos to tell and experiment with new ad narratives.

One of the most common, and powerful, assets a brand team often has is user-generated content (UGC) featuring customers or fans talking about their products. UGC has historically been very tough to edit and remix, as it must be cut up with respect to both what’s happening in the video and what’s being said in the audio. Finding the best sound bites that make sense together makes this even tougher. Done badly, the audio loses sync with the video or gets cut off entirely, making for poor ads.

We’ve worked hard to address this. Pencil users can now simply drag UGC video into their briefs and the AI will transcribe what’s being said, cut the UGC with respect to sound bites and video scenes and generate new ads from the UGC with no editing required.

3. GPT-3 copy generation!

GPT-3 is truly magical. It is the world’s best language model for generating text and was developed by the team at OpenAI in California. Pencil is one of OpenAI’s early beta partners and we have been experimenting with GPT-3 for the last few months. We are now able to announce 3 major improvements to copy generation in Pencil as a result of GPT-3:

The first is that you can now generate copy in Pencil in just a few seconds. 

The second is that you can “riff” with the platform by generating, making edits and then generating again to get closer to the perfect propositions and language to test.

The third is the quality and the variety of the copy generated. In our internal benchmarks 94% of the GPT-3 generated copy is acceptable to users compared to just 66% of the copy we previously generated using GPT-2. 

Pencil users can now access GPT-3 generated copy in Pencil by completing their Brand Kit and clicking “generate headlines” in any brief. The copy is then automatically used in any ads they generate as well.

We are super excited by these latest features and hope you find them useful in scaling your Q1 campaigns. We have a new 14 day free trial and we’re onboarding a new batch of customers, so just apply here to get started. 

And please keep letting us know what else you need in 2021.


Made By Machines,
Loved By Humans

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