AI MANGA ~TEZUKA2020~

Bronze Spike

Case Film

Presentation Image

TitleAI MANGA ~TEZUKA2020~
BrandKIOXIA CORPORATION
Product / ServiceCORPORATION ADVERTISEMENT
CategoryG05. Cultural Insight
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 PR?

Manga is a huge industry in Japan with a market size of 430 billion yen a year.  It is precisely the late Osamu Tezuka, called the "god of manga", that elevated the value of manga from mere entertainment to the realm of culture and art. Even today, 30 years after his death, Osamu Tezuka's works and characters have not faded, and his name creates conversation and news. It is testimony that his works are loved by all Japanese. By drawing his new 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. Our brief was to widely make the public aware of the new company name, KIOXIA and its business, hence 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)

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. It was published in a popular Manga magazine, WEEKLY MORNING with an annual circulation of 800,000. Along with the launch of this new work, we also released a documentary film following its production process on the KIOXIA brand site.

Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)

In an attempt to create buzz among all generations, we focused on acquiring free publicity on the most influential TV. 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 received huge public reaction, resulting in sold-out of the magazine. 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.

Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)

AI projects are often criticized in Japan. For example, a project that produced a new song of a deceased singer using machine-learned voice were met with negative reactions such as “It violates the dignity of the deceased” and “Technology disrespects humanity”. Just emphasizing the greatness and novelty of the technology does not inspire people. But by focusing on humanity, we constantly emphasized the project as “AI helps humans”, “A collaboration between AI and humans” and “The first collaborative work”. This worked as a driver for this project to be better received.

List the results (30% of vote)

• Tier 1: Media Outputs - coverage depth (quality / quantity), tone and message delivery, purchase intent (survey) This project was featured by over 500 media, and media exposure was worth more than 1 billion JPY. It 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. 
• Tier 2: Target Audience Outcomes - measurable changes in awareness, comprehension, perceptions / attitudes / opinions, and target 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. 
• Tier 3: Business Outcomes – campaign's measurable effect on sales / revenues / profits, market share, stock valuation, brand equity, reputation scores and other traditional marketing and business metrics Brand Recognition increased by 500% and by 1100% for Brand Favorability. The project also has contributed in changing the profile of job seekers. More semiconductor researchers as well as students and scholars from other fields such as information and system now apply for recruitment. Even students with arts/humanities backgrounds, which have never been seen before, have applied for positions.

Please tell us about the cultural insight that inspired the work

AI projects are often criticized in Japan. For example, a project that produced a new song of a deceased singer using machine-learned voice were met with negative reactions such as “It violates the dignity of the deceased” and “Technology disrespects humanity”. We thought these kind of projects lacked something. Just emphasizing the greatness and novelty of the technology does not inspire people. But by focusing on humanity, we constantly emphasized “AI helps humans” and “A collaboration between AI machines and humans”. This worked as a driver for this project to be better received.

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