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McCann Japan pit the world's first AI CD against a creative legend

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AI-CD ß, the world’s first artificially intelligent Creative Director created by McCann Erickson Japan, debuted its first work for the Mondelez Japan brand this week. The brand set the AI the brief of creating an ad that communicated the idea that their Clorets Mint Tab confectionery “Refreshens the mouth immediately with one tablet,” and has “Long-lasting refreshment that lasts for 10 minutes.” The full campaign actually pitted a real, genuinely respected Creative; Mitsuru Kuramoto against AI-CD ß, and documented the battle of man versus machine online. The two ads have gone to a poll in Japan, with the public ultimately making the decision. After Japanese consumers vote on their favourite, the winner will be announced in late August.

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In the green corner: Mitsuru Kuramoto

McCann announced that AI-CD ß had joined the agency on April 1 this year, sparking many to question whether it was an April Fools or not, which is a fair point. It turns out it wasn’t, and was actually part of the ambitious “Creative Genome Project,” which is the first in a series of projects undertaken by the McCann Millennials task force. The team of millennials analysed and tagged past TV commercials, including winners at Japan's All Japan Radio & Television Commercial Confederation's annual CM Festival. The AI was built to respond to a product or message with the optimal commercial direction, based off historical data. The AI has also been built to then learn from the results of the campaigns its directed, in theory creating an increasingly more effective AI creative director. So, whilst the whole thing made for some rather bold headlines, the cyborg creative is actually more of a data analysis program created by young creatives and dressed up like an android. Still impressive though!

Introducing the AI-CD ß

McCann Japan ECD, Isamu Nakamura, said: “As a creative director myself, I have mixed feelings about this. But I am very excited to see how the public receives a commercial creatively directed by A.I. and how the battle between human and A.I. will turn out.” Shun Matsuzaka, a Creative Planner who led the development of AI-CD ß, added: “The strength of AI-CD ß is that it is free of bias or habits in the way of thinking that can limit human creators. This allows it to come up with creative direction that humans would never think of. For this project, we produced a commercial that faithfully carried out AI-CD ß’s creative direction.”

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In the blue corner: AI-CD ß

You can see both ads below for yourself. Which do you prefer? Regardless of the outcome of the campaign, however, McCann have said that AI-CD β will work as a creative director on real client accounts in the future.

AI-CD ß's Ad
Mitsuru Kuramoto's Ad

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