It's official: robots are now writing real ad copy for major corporations.
When J.P. Morgan Chase announced its new hire of AI firm Persado to write their ad copy, I admit I was shocked. But diving into the examples, I can see why they chose the robots.
In a surprising turn of events, the robot-written copy actually sounds more human.
How? Well take a look at this example The Hustle shared:
Human-written ad headline
"Access cash from the equity in your home"
AI-written ad headline
"It's true -- you can unlock cash from equity in your home."
Two things immediately set these headlines apart:
1. The Robot Wrote Using Simpler Words You Can Visualize
Which line sounds more professional: "Access" or "Unlock"?
Access isn't necessarily a spelling bee championship word, but it's not a word we use in everyday language.
Unlock, on the other hand, couldn't be simpler. Plus, it immediately gives us a clear visual of a lock and key. Unlike access, which represents a more abstract concept.
The takeaway: don't get stuck trying to sound professional.
I run into too many companies - especially smaller companies - that are trying to sound bigger, more important, and more powerful.
And they usually try to come across as more impressive by choosing jargon and business-speak. Unfortunately it has the opposite effect by sounding boring and alienating readers.
2. The Robot Used Words Laced with Emotion
This robot didn't actually come up with its own vocabulary - it was given a word bank to pull from. And the words it was given were tied to emotion.
70% of human decisions are based on emotions - not logic.
I know that can be a hard stat to accept, but it's true - especially when it comes to discretionary purchases. We decide we're going to buy the things we want, and then we think of a logical reason why our decision makes sense.
The takeaway: You can use the same technique - without a complex AI algorithm.
When you're writing copy (or hiring someone to do it for you), make sure emotions are brought into the message - not just facts and figures.
So, if you run out and hire an AI robot, will all your ad copy be just as good?
Remember, this robot was writing from a word bank. Who set up that word bank? Humans. Or at least a human-selected algorithm.
Persado's own website says "The machine applies its understanding of language to a marketing brief from your team, creating the best message to speak to your customers in your brand’s voice across all channels." [Emphasis added]
Here's the thing. Words and phrases are only one part of copywriting.
They're the end result that gets created once the foundation is in place.
And that foundation has a lot of elements requiring both critical thinking and creativity:
An overarching marketing strategy
In-depth understanding of your customers' deepest desires, annoyances, and pain points
Knowledge of your customers' vocabulary
A strong understanding of the competitive landscape, and your unique selling proposition
Knowledge of which messaging frameworks work best for creating conversions
Immersion in your own brand voice, and a key understanding of how to integrate your brand voice with the vocabulary your customers use
If that sounds a bit overwhelming, here's the good news: any copywriter worth their salt can help you with all of these elements.
If you're outsourcing to someone who's just a wordsmith, then sure, there's a possibility they could go head-to-head with a robot lose to AI.
But if you're hiring a true copy strategist, you're getting the full package - not just the words, but the vision, and the tactical plan..
Thoughts? Opinions? Experience with AI copy? I'd love to hear it all - send me a note at email@example.com