JPMorgan Chase enlists the help of AI to help write ad copy


At this point, it’s clear that humans won’t rest until every piece of labor has been outsourced to AI. Even pursuits like making music aren’t safe from the grip of artificial intelligence. Now, it looks like creative copyrighting could also soon be handled by the machines. 

Earlier this week, JPMorgan Chase announced that it signed a five-year deal with Persado, a startup that uses AI to generate marketing copy. 

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Society is probably far from developing an AI capable of spitting out clever phrases like a digitized Don Draper. That being said, the Persado AI is impressive. In trial runs, Persado’s machine-learning tool generated ad copy that produced higher click-through rates than copy created by in-house marketers. Actually, Persado’s copy put human words to shame. In some cases, it doubled the click-through rate with a 450 percent lift. 

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“Persado’s technology is incredibly promising,” said JPMorgan Chase CMO Kristin Lemkau. “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.”

Persado and Chase began a pilot phase back in 2016. Using Persado’s Messaging Machine, Chase rewrote marketing messages associated with its credit card and mortgage services. The Persado tool houses a marketing language knowledge base of one million words and phrases.

In a few instances, the machine’s changes were minimal—sometimes only altering one word. For example, Chase marketers wrote copy that read, “Access cash from the equity in your home.” Persado rewrote the copy to read, “It’s true—You can unlock cash from the equity in your home.”

Surprise, surprise, the latter performed better with customers. 

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Though it might sound like a case of machines replacing humans, Chase says it has no plans to downsize. A spokesperson for Chase told AdAge the bank’s relationship with Persado hasn’t changed the bank’s structure. Instead, Persado works alongside Chase’s marketing team. It plans to use the AI tool during the ideation stage of marketing. This falls in line with AI’s long purported aim: making work easier for humans. It also brings a level of precision that humans are unable to account for. 

“To the creative community, the marketing community, this brings accountability and data-driven insight,” Persado CEO and co-founder Alex Vratskides tells AdAge. “If you go to any marketing creative out there and you ask, ‘How did you come up with that, why did you use that word and not that word,’ they cannot actually answer. With Persado, there is a mathematical answer.”

Chase isn’t the only company signing up for Persado’s copywriting wizardry. The company’s portfolio boasts over 250 clients including the likes of American Express, Expedia, Dell, and StubHub. So, it’s likely that some machine-generated copy is already persuading consumers. If not yet, it will in the very near future.