Generative AI: The Ultimate Yes, And in Writing 

October 30, 2023by Hiebing

Not only is the term “Yes, And” a pillar of improvisational genius and one of our agency’s founding principles, it’s also inspiration to build great prompts to make the most of generative AI. While generative AI is a tool to make life easier for marketers of every kind, the output is still only as good as the input you provide it – and the ability of the people wielding it to turn the results into market share momentum.  
By embracing the philosophy of “Yes, And,” marketers can approach crafting generative AI prompts for writing with a delicate balance of curiosity and strategy. This can build upon ideas that will lead to more effective and engaging AI-generated content. Here’s how marketers can apply the “Yes, And” concept to generate better results from their interactions with AI.

The Yes – The Machine Element: 

To make full use of AI and get results that bolster your marketing strategy, begin by writing your prompt with a clear objective in mind – this sets the foundation for the AI’s response. Consider what type of output you’re hoping to access, and build a strategic tactic by offering examples or templates to clarify the desired format or structure. 
Let’s say Hiebing was a coffee shop that wanted to motivate in-store visits for the return of a beloved fall coffee blend. We could leverage AI to help generate copy and hashtag ideas for a TikTok that raises awareness and evokes cozy autumn feelings. An initial interaction with AI might look a little something like this:

Traditionally, a simple prompt would read something like: 

Write copy options for a TikTok celebrating Hiebing’s fall flavor.”  

An actual AI response to this prompt looks like:  

Embrace fall with Hiebing’s fall flavors! It’s the perfect sip of autumn. 
While this response gets the job done, it lacks specifics. This might serve as a great first option to kick off the ideation process – but it would take several rounds of “Yes, And” to continue to reiterate and refine until the ideas being provided reach a more comprehensive understanding of what you need.  

Shifting to a more strategic prompt tactic called one-shot prompting, the “Yes” can build a much more powerful and efficient prompt. The idea behind one-shot prompting is to test the AI’s ability to comprehend and generate content based on a minimal amount of input. It’s particularly useful in scenarios where you want quick, specific and contextually relevant responses from the AI. With one-shot prompting, you can simplify the process by providing a single compound instruction.  

Instead of asking something simple like the traditional prompt above, a one-shot prompt would look more like: 

Craft one compelling,140-character copy option for TikTok, in an excited tone, to announce the comeback of our favorite fall coffee blend. The copy should be fun and remind our customers of the cozy fall vibes our coffee shop, Hiebing, offers. End it with a call to action to visit in-store and provide popular SEO hashtags. Do you understand?

An actual AI response to this prompt looks like: 

🍂 Fall’s here and so is the magic! Join us at Hiebing for the return of our favorite fall blend. Sip, smile and share the vibes! ☕ #HiebingFallMagic #CoffeeTime #VisitUs 

In this one-shot prompt, you’ve included all the essential information and instructions in a single request.  The more specific, clear and concise your strategy becomes, the better output AI can generate with a higher rate of efficiency. Keep in mind that the effectiveness of one-shot prompting depends on the AI model’s capabilities and your ability to craft clear and concise instructions. Experimenting and evaluating the AI-generated content can help you refine your strategy and generate more efficient AI content. 

*Disclaimer: Information that shouldn’t be made public shouldn’t be used. And the wild world of copyright infringement is still an unknown in this realm. Proceed with caution!   

The And – The Human Element: 

Marketing, at its core, is still about creating an emotional connection between audiences and the brands they love. We are still the stewards of telling a brand’s story – and while AI can serve as an augmentation of the creative process, it is still just a tool and requires the human touch to arrive at great writing. We can’t out-machine the machines, but they can’t out-human us humans. It might be able to “see” the products and “see” the coffee shop, but it doesn’t understand what fall vibes smell like or appreciate the taste of our favorite fall blend.  
It’s why the human element is the “And” in all of this. We play a critical role in shepherding the output from AI systems into a story that connects meaningfully with our target audiences. A fundamental aspect of human nature is curiosity. The power to get curious and question if the story we’re telling has the right nuances in human emotions, culture and ethics is still something that only humans can do – for now! Capturing tone or expanding on a Brand Idea or Brand Positioning coupled with AI’s computational power can lead to long-lasting impressions. And even though AI can analyze sentiment, humans breathe life into the story. Take, for example, our earlier Hiebing coffee shop example:  

The actual AI response looked like this: 

🍂 Fall’s here and so is the magic! Join us at Hiebing for the return of our favorite fall blend. Sip, smile and share the vibes! ☕ #HiebingFallMagic #CoffeeTime #VisitUs 
This may be effective for SEO purposes, but does it really make the audience experience the magical feeling of the favorite fall blend? Does it tell a relatable story that is rooted in the brand’s idea and positioning?  

A true “Yes, And” response with a human touch can add tone and warmth to make the “experience” real:  

It’s more than coffee; it’s that first waft of cinnamon as you walk down the stairs at Grandma’s on a crisp morning. We’ve bottled that up at Hiebing with our new fall flavor. Stop by for a sip of nostalgia. 🧡 #FallFlavorsAtHiebing #SipIntoAutumnMagic #HiebingCafe 🍂🍁 

AI wrote copy that stated the coffee was also an experience – but it didn’t make us feel it. If we challenge the AI to think outside the box, we can expand, ideate and craft meaningful messages that resonate with our audiences. When we employ the “Yes, And” philosophy and apply it to AI, it can serve as a springboard for AI-powered creativity and amplify our writing.  

Searching for a marketing partner that is a master of “Yes, And,” understands your brand voice and can fuel your marketing strategy with stellar AI prompt writing? Look no further – Hiebing checks all those boxes. Email Nate Tredinnick at to set up a call. 

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