An AI-fueled rendition of a never-delivered John F. Kennedy speech has won the Grand Prix for Creative Data at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
The project, created by Irish agency Rothco for the Times of London, used artificial intelligence to stitch Kennedy's voice into the speech he had been set to deliver on the day he was killed in Dallas. Rothco and the Times worked with CereProc, a British audio tech company, to analyze recordings from over 800 Kennedy speeches and build a database from them. The 22 minute video appeared on the Times website.
Bas Korsten, creative partner of JWT Amsterdam and a member of the Creative Data jury, said that the complexity of the project, the impact of the campaign in wider media and the fact that the technology is now being used to help ALS patients all contributed to its win.
He added that there was some debate over whether the project was a commercial or an editorial one; if it had been deemed editorial, it would not have been eligible. Jurors permitted it because it was part of the Times' "Find Your Voice" campaign.
The Grand Prix for Product Design went to Kingo, a pioneer in decentralized clean energy services for off-grid communities that's backed by Leonardo DiCaprio. The project, via Ogilvy's Colombia and Guatemala offices, installs solar panels and batteries in rural homes at no cost.
And the Innovation Grand Prix went to MyLine, a project by MullenLowe SSP3 in Bogota that gave people in remote areas access to online services using a landline. In Colombia, where many people in still lack access to internet or smartphones, the country's Ministry of Communications & Technology set up a traditional telephone landline that people can call for online services. It is powered by Google's voice assistant.
The jury was led by Tor Myhren, VP of marketing communications at Apple.
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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article identified Bas Korsten, creative partner of JWT Amsterdam, as chair of the Creative Data jury at Cannes. Korsten was a member of the jury, but the chair was Marc Maleh, global director at Havas.