By India Fizer, AdForum. Published August 28, 2023.
Honoring their brand promise of moving mountains for clients, Yamamoto embraces forward-thinking technology. Yamamoto's Chief Digital Officer, Jon Trettel, speaks on using AI responsibly and for efficiency in the creative process.
Does your agency encourage or deter the use of AI in your work? If applicable, how does your team integrate these tools into the creative process?
At Yamamoto, we’re embracing AI to the fullest. As the former leader of digital experience for a Fortune 4 healthcare company, I love any new technology that can increase productivity, creativity, velocity, and impact. Our creative technologist, Shawn Flanagan, also has over a decade of industry experience with emerging technologies such as AI, AR, Web 3.0, and so forth. He’s bringing forward-thinking technology into every new business pitch while also finding innovative solutions for existing clients. Our brand promise is this: We move mountains for our clients. The question at Yamamoto is not whether to use AI, but what’s the best way, while also being brand safe and honoring the creative work done by real-life humans like you and me.
So how are we embracing AI? That question has multiple answers. One way we’re using AI at Yamamoto is for non-commercial work. Our executive creative director, Shawn Pals, recently used MidJourney to pitch a client a spot for the Big Game that featured a famous actor dressed in all black and riding a black stallion on a beach at sunset. The image was uncannily accurate and visually stunning. We’d never make it public, but it brought the concept to life in a way a traditional mockup never could.
Yamamoto’s parent company, Stagwell, and its Marketing Cloud Group is building and testing custom AI tools for all affiliated agencies to use at enterprise. Within Stagwell, Yamamoto is in the Doner Partners Network (DPN) micro-network, which won a 2023 A-List Standout Award from Ad Age for excellence in driving marketing results through collaboration. I’m a member of DPN’s Emerging Technology working group, which includes James Adamé, executive vice president of innovation and design at Doner and Shawn Flanagan. Our goal across agencies is to demystify AI and other emerging technologies. We’re helping clients separate what’s a distraction from what will make a difference.
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