Chase Hired a Robot to Write Their Copy - Should You Do the Same?

AI Ad Copy

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?

Probably not.

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 anna@annakbradshaw.com