AI MANGA ~TEZUKA2020~

TitleAI MANGA ~TEZUKA2020~
BrandKIOXIA CORPORATION
Product / ServiceCORPORATION ADVERTISEMENT
CategoryF03. Media Execution
EntrantWUNDERMAN THOMPSON TOKYO, JAPAN
Idea Creation WUNDERMAN THOMPSON TOKYO, JAPAN
Media Placement KODANSHA Tokyo, JAPAN
Production WUNDERMAN THOMPSON TOKYO, JAPAN
Production 2 GEEK PICTURES INC. Tokyo, JAPAN

Credits

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 Media?

Manga is a huge industry in Japan with a market size of 430 billion yen a year. It is precisely the late Osamu Tezuka, who is called the "god of manga", that elevated the value of manga from mere entertainment to the realm of culture and art. Osamu Tezuka's works and characters continue to be loved. It is not an overstatement to say that he has influenced all the Manga artists who are leading the industry now. By drawing a new his work with AI and publishing it in a Manga magazine was a news that surprised the whole nation.

Background

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 / insights (30% 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 (20% 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 Macoto 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 such as the creativity of AI, collaboration between AI and humans, the future of Manga and the dignity of the deceased. As a result, we were successful in significantly shifting the then-negative public perception toward technologies made by Deepfakes and others, and reestablishing technology as something inspiring and exciting. This project was featured by media outside of Japan such as Forbes and also in the academic field such as The Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence, and will even be introduced in a middle school textbook next year.

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