Short List
CategoryB04. Use of Print or Outdoor
Media Placement KODANSHA Tokyo, JAPAN
Production 2 GEEK PICTURES INC. Tokyo, JAPAN


Name Company Position
Takayuki Niizawa Wunderman Thompson Tokyo Chief Creative Officer
Shinichi Niizeki Wunderman Thompson Tokyo Creative Director
Tetsuya Mita Wunderman Thompson Tokyo Senior Copy Writer
Satoko Iida Wunderman Thompson Tokyo Associate Creative Director
Haruka Kawazoe Wunderman Thompson Tokyo Designer
Daisuke Tsutsui Wunderman Thompson Tokyo Account Director
Mihoko Mori Wunderman Thompson Tokyo Account Manager
Mitsuru Sato Wunderman Thompson Tokyo Strategic Planning Director
Asami Hirano Wunderman Thompson Tokyo Strategic Planner
Hidemitsu Yokoi Wunderman Thompson Tokyo Creative Business Producer
Kazuma Uesu GEEK PICTURES INC. Pruducer
Yuya Matsuno GEEK PICTURES INC. Production Manager
Ren Ando GEEK PICTURES INC. Production Manager

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

Osamu Tezuka, the god of Manga, is the origin of Japanese Manga culture. Even now, over 30 years since his passing, his works and characters are still beloved by the whole nation. It was inevitable that this AI Manga project would create huge buzz nationwide, since it applied deep learning technology to the enormous amount of past works of the god of Manga, to create a new work of his. We became successful in increasing awareness of KIOXIA Corporation, the leader of this project, and its business.


Toshiba Memory Corporation, a world-renowned semiconductor memory manufacture, decided to change its name with the intention to show the world of its transformation from a mere manufacturer to a technology company with semiconductor memory at its center. However, no matter how much they proclaimed their new company name, KIOXIA, the true intent cannot be conveyed. Therefore, we decided to create evidence. Tapping into KIOXIA’s technology, we attempted to deliver a never-seen-before creative and bring news full of unprecedented surprises and joy to the world.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

Our intention was to prove that the advanced technology such as deep learning, AI and robotics were not evil, but are beneficial, inspiring and exciting for humans. With this aim, we selected Osamu Tezuka as he is admired nationwide as the god of Manga but also inspired readers with robots or futuristic cities in his work. He once said, “Whether technology turns out to be good or bad depends on the people using it”. This is what KIOXIA Corporation attempted to emphasize through this project.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

We selected Manga, culture loved by all people of age, as the medium for execution to grab the attention of all generations. Our plan was designed to maximize the conversation and acquire free publicity through PR activities. We held a press conference on February 9, the anniversary of Osamu Tezuka’s death, when he spontaneously becomes the center topic of conversation, and announced that the completed work of this project would be published in a popular Manga magazine with annual circulation of 800,000, MORNING. On the day of publication a month later, it was featured by a wide variety of news media including TV and generated conversation nationwide.

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

We digitalized 150,000 pages of Osamu Tezuka’s drawings and attempted to create characters by machine learning faces through GAN (Generative Adversarial Network). Through learning the short stories by Tezuka, we also analyzed characters, settings and plots in 13 layers to create new plots by combining them. Based on the characters and plots created by AI, the project team members led by Makoto Tezuka, the eldest son of Osamu Tezuka, provided feedback to the AI to implement key elements that are unique to Tezuka’s work. Then, Manga artists such as the former assistants of Tezuka gave the finishing touches. Along with the launch of this new work, we also released a documentary film following its production process on the KIOXIA brand site.

List the results (30% of vote)

This project was featured by over 500 media vehicles including almost every TV station in Japan. Media exposure was worth more than 1 billion JPY with 500% increase in Brand Recognition and 1100% increase in Brand Favorability. It also generated buzz in social media, mainly Twitter. The project was unique in not only creating news but also provoking public debates. It significantly swayed negative public perception towards technologies made by Deepfakes and others, reestablishing technology as something exciting.


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