McCann’s AI creative director briefed to produce a music video before the music is written

AI-CD β favours a 'school' motif

AI-CD β, the artificially intelligent creative director of McCann Japan, has been tasked with producing a music video for Kawaii pop girl band Magical Punchline. In a further twist, the track itself will only be written after the film has been released.

The program has taken successful TV advertising as inspiration on its quest to find ‘the optimal visual expression’ to promote the group’s new, unwritten song by performing a structural analysis of music-centered commercials added to its database.

Based on this data, AI-CD β has given the direction to ‘create a stimulating video that conveys hunting instinct through a tone of ennui’. It controversially suggests ‘using a school motif’ and ‘objectification’.

Based on the bot’s guidance, McCann Millennials is now set to shoot the pop video, with all dance numbers and tempo-contingent scenes filmed without a backing tack. McCann and Magical Punchline’s label Pony Canyon will then release the music video with no music, before getting to work on writing the accompanying song.

The project will aim to show how a music promo can be treated simply as an extension of a TV commercial. The agency, which is releasing behind the scenes videos of the project as it progresses, believes it is the world’s first attempt to shoot a music video first, and write the music later.

McCann appointed AI-CD β to the role of creative director in March 2016. The AI can provide creative direction on commercials because the data that forms the basis of the algorithm includes deconstructed, tagged and analysed TV shows, as well as data on the winners of the All Japan Radio & Television Commersion Confederation’s CM Festival.

The Drum spoke to the team behind the bot in the original documentary The Automation of Creativity.

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Katie Deighton

Katie Deighton is The Drum’s senior reporter - creative and video based in London. She produces, films, presents and edits the title’s editorial video output, including series such as On The Scene, Ad Breakers and Why I Left Advertising, and manages its coverage of the creative sector. She also reports on the intersection between politics and marketing, as well as the third sector and fashion.

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