Algorithmic Copywriting: Automated Generation of Health-Related Advertisements to Improve their Performance

27 Oct 2019  ·  Brit Youngmann, Ran Gilad-Bachrach, Danny Karmon, Elad Yom-Tov ·

Search advertising, a popular method for online marketing, has been employed to improve health by eliciting positive behavioral change. However, writing effective advertisements requires expertise and experimentation, which may not be available to health authorities wishing to elicit such changes, especially when dealing with public health crises such as epidemic outbreaks. Here we develop a framework, comprised of two neural networks models, that automatically generate ads. First, it employs a generator model, which create ads from web pages. It then employs a translation model, which transcribes ads to improve performance. We trained the networks using 114K health-related ads shown on Microsoft Advertising. We measure ads performance using the click-through rates (CTR). Our experiments show that the generated advertisements received approximately the same CTR as human-authored ads. The marginal contribution of the generator model was, on average, 28\% lower than that of human-authored ads, while the translator model received, on average, 32\% more clicks than human-authored ads. Our analysis shows that the translator model produces ads reflecting higher values of psychological attributes associated with a user action, including higher valance and arousal, and more calls-to-actions. In contrast, levels of these attributes in ads produced by the generator model are similar to those of human-authored ads. Our results demonstrate the ability to automatically generate useful advertisements for the health domain. We believe that our work offers health authorities an improved ability to nudge people towards healthier behaviors while saving the time and cost needed to build effective advertising campaigns.

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