Microsoft turns people’s holiday memories into AI works of art

Holiday spot features artist Ellie Pritts using Microsoft Designer to translate seven people’s reminiscences into imagery

Published On
Nov 17, 2023
Transmedia artist Ellie Pritts wearing a yellow shirt

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Generative AI has been a big topic in creative circles all year long. Now, Microsoft is highlighting it in its holiday commercial, with artist Ellie Pritts using the AI tools in Image Creator by Microsoft Designer to create works of art from people’s holiday memories.

The spot below features Pritts setting up a laptop on the streets of New York and inviting people to sit down and tell her their holiday memories. Pritts then turns these into prompts in Microsoft Designer, refining them until the software spits out a “masterpiece” based on each person’s recollections.

The film features seven people in all, each celebrating a different holiday. The piece wraps with Pritts showing them her creations—to universally glowing reviews.


The campaign goes deeper with each of the film’s subjects in a series of 30-second spots. Consumers can visit to learn more, and go to to make their own images. The campaign is running on Microsoft’s owned channels in digital and social. 

Cristina Reina, executive global creative director at McCann New York, told Ad Age that Pritts and the creative team kept pushing the boundaries of the compositions and art styles on each piece “until we ended up with something we thought was specific enough to capture their holiday memories but create a feeling of joy and wonder.”

She added: “It was hard to pick one for each story. It’s almost instantaneous. And it’s a progression. When you type in one prompt, you keep revising, exploring and pushing until you capture the feeling of magic and joy. The endless combinations of specificity of a story and art styles and movements unleashes a plethora of wonderful pieces of art.” 

“This year, we want to celebrate the unique holiday traditions people experience around the world,” added Kathleen Hall, chief brand officer at Microsoft. “With the magic of AI and Microsoft Designer, anyone can be an artist and bring their memories to life, creating beautiful masterpieces to share.” 


Nov 17, 2023
Client :
Agency :
McCann New York
Corporate VP of Brand :
Kathleen Hall
General Manager Global Creative :
Sven Seger
General Manager Global Advertising :
Carol Phillips
Senior Director Brand Strategy + Ops Chief of Staff :
Sunita Richardson
Director Global Brand Marketing :
Aleksey Fedorov
Brand Manager :
Kaity Butcher
Global Brand Strategist :
Pia Rodriguez
Managing Advisor Content Creation :
Stephanie Quartararo
CCO & ECD Global Brands :
Sean Bryan
CCO & ECD Global Brands :
Shayne Millington
EVP Executive Global Creative Director :
Cristina Reina
EVP Executive Global Creative Director :
Pete Johnson
SVP Group Creative Director :
Lucas Casao
SVP Group Creative Director :
Guilherme Racz
Associate Creative Director :
Camilla Ciappina
Associate Creative Director :
Daniel Trimarchi
EVP Head of Design :
Matthew van Leeuwen
Design Director :
Mook Phoungbut
President :
John Dunleavy
SVP Executive Account Director :
Socrates Papazoglou
VP Account Director :
Hugh Simpson
Account Director :
Marguerite Daly
Account Director :
Courtney Marin
VP Project Management Director :
Anne Denny
Chief Strategy Officer :
Emily Portnoy
EVP Executive Strategy Director :
Sam Chotiner
SVP Group Strategy Director :
Danielle Noto
Strategist :
Kyla Jackson
Chief Production Officer :
Aaron Kovan
SVP Executive Producer :
Stacy Flaum
Talent Payment Manager :
Debbie Myllek
Integrated Production Business Manager :
David Halberstadt
Director of Music Licensing :
Jamie Jou
Managing Advisor Content Creation :
Stephanie Quartararo
Post/VFX Advisor :
Tommy Murov
Director :
Andree Ljutica
SVP Head of Content :
Adam Hirsch
Executive Producer :
Zoe Greene
Line Producer :
Kim Anderson
Photographer :
Malik Dupree
Business Director :
Marta Gromysz
Client Partner :
Lisa Kawamoto
Project Director :
Ajit Jha
Executive Producer :
Corina Dennison
Head of Production :
Laura Molinaro
Editor :
James Duffy
Editor :
Nick Schneider
Audio :
Revolve Audio
Mix Engineer :
Paul Weiss
Studio Director :
Gilda McCrann
Music :
JSM Music

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