Copywriters out in the cold as the machines march on

copywriter2The writing is on the wall – quite literally – for the humble copywriter after America’s largest bank claimed that machines are far better at devising successful advertising copy than mere humans.
JP Morgan Chase has signed a five-year deal with AI marketing specialist Persado following trials which showed that ads written by its tools led to a 450% increase in the number of clickthroughs to its website.
The bank began the pilot in 2016 with Persado’s “Message Machine”, a platform of “advanced marketing language”, including more than one million tagged and scored words, phrases and images in 25 languages that have been successful in previous ad campaigns, breaking down the words or phrases that resonate with customers.
The tool successfully redrafted marketing messages in the finance firm’s card and mortgage business using data science and AI, transforming them into more personalised and compelling messages to individual customers.
The bank now plans to scale up its AI efforts, widen the use of data-driven messages and create enterprise-wide omnichannel personalisation by next year.
JP Morgan Chase chief marketing officer Kristin Lemkau said: “Machine learning is the path to more humanity in marketing. Persado’s technology is incredibly promising. It rewrote copy and headlines that a marketer, using subjective judgment and their experience, likely wouldn’t have. And they worked.
“We think this is just the beginning. We hope to use Persado not just in marketing, but in our internal communications to make things more relevant to employees, as well as in our customer service prompts.”
The move may not come as a great surprise to some industry veterans, who have been bemoaning the state of copywriting for years.
In a 2015 survey, carried out by the DMA, it was claimed that copywriting is bland, uninspired and sucked dry of creativity by clients who get too involved and search engines that do not understand smart or subtle.
The initiative, dubbed “The Campaign for Great British Copywriting”, was designed to raise awareness of declining writing standards in the creative industry. During one event, former adman Tony Brignull – D&AD’s most awarded copywriter – proclaimed: “Copywriting is dead.”

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