Duane does Bud

Duane Jones dealt with the Bud Light problem.

I cited it before, in a discussion of AI misunderstanding human motives:

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The Jones agency had produced a successful magazine ad for Heinz ketchup. A painting showed an elegant waitress holding a silver tray with a single bottle of Heinz, standing over a well-dressed businessman at lunch. The headline said:

What she knows about your husband

The copy explained that she knows your husband likes Heinz, with the implication that you’d better figure out his preference before he strays.

Jones tried to sell the ad to MacLeans magazine in Toronto. Their editor rejected the headline immediately. Impossible! Too risque for sedate Canadians! Jones asked the MacLeans editor to write a more suitable headline, and he came back with:

He gets it downtown, so why not let him have it at home?

Innocent people genuinely can’t think dirty thoughts, so they can’t see the problem with this sentence. AI is innocent about all subjects, not just sex.

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Budweiser executives are AI. Possibly they’re using AI to make their decisions. If not, their minds are equally divorced from the human world of endless implications and metaphors and natural aversions. Their “thoughts” come from mixing Twitter and Reddit and Instagram and Tiktok, which is the same way ChatGPT “thinks”. They can’t imagine the thoughts and desires of UNREPRESENTED PEOPLE, who include most beer drinkers.

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Later and better note: I’ve tried twice to apply Duane’s rules, but they really can’t fit the modern situation. Duane worked and wrote in the era of profit, when businesses were firmly looped with their customers and workers. He couldn’t imagine how Share Value and QE would distort capitalism. No company in the ’50s would CONSIDER driving all of its customers away. The Canadian editor was steadfastly REJECTING what he saw as an insult to his customers.

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