Microsoft Brings Holiday Memories to Life With AI

Artist Ellie Pritts hits the street to spread joy

Microsoft and McCann used generative AI to transform holiday memories and traditions into works of art.

Transmedia artist Ellie Pritts set up shop with her laptop on a street corner in NYC. Curious passersby sat down and shared their recollections of the festive season. Origami, the Feast of the Seven Fishes, dumplings and a grandmother's coat were among the topics that emerged.

Pritts engaged Microsoft tech to create images based on the participants' tales.

Microsoft Holiday 2023 | Make Your Holiday A Masterpiece

"The inspiration came from the 1998 Brazilian film Central Station' depicting the true story of a retired school teacher who wrote letters for illiterate individuals," say Lucas Casão and Guilherme Rácz, SVPs at McCann. "The image of her in the streets, skillfully crafting people's stories into letters, seemed truly honest and powerful. That kept us thinking about how nice it would be if we could use AI to turn different holiday stories into masterpieces."

In addition to the long-form ad, seven individual stories were packaged as 30-second spots. Andree Ljutica directed. Consumers can learn how the memories were brought to life and visit Bing to create their own stories.

"This campaign is centered on rekindling connections with people, memories, and the things we cherish most about the holiday season," says McCann EVP, executive global CD Cristina Reina. "We chose AI to amplify those feelings and evoke a sense of wonder. To show how incredible a modern tool like AI could make those past memories and connections feel new."


Kathleen Hall | Corporate VP of Brand  
Sven Seger | General  Manager, Global Creative  
Carol Phillips | General Manager, Global Advertising  
Sunita Richardson | Senior Director, Brand Strategy + Ops, Chief of Staff  
Aleksey Fedorov | Director, Global Brand Marketing  
Kaity Butcher | Brand Manager, Microsoft Brand Studio  
Pia Rodriguez | Global Brand Strategist  
Stephanie Quartararo | Managing Advisor, Content Creation  

Sean Bryan | CCO & ECD Global Brands, North America 
Shayne Millington | CCO & ECD Global Brands, NY 
Cristina Reina | EVP, Executive Global Creative Director  
Pete Johnson | EVP, Executive Global Creative Director  
Lucas Casão | SVP, Group Creative Director  
Guilherme Rácz | SVP, Group Creative Director  
Camilla Ciappina | Associate Creative Director  
Daniel Trimarchi | Associate Creative Director  
Matthew van Leeuwen | EVP, Head of Design 
Mook Phoungbut | Design Director 

Business Leadership
John Dunleavy | President, McCann Worldgroup
Socrates Papazoglou | SVP, Executive Account Director  
Hugh Simpson | VP, Account Director  
Marguerite Daly | Account Director  
Courtney Marin | Account Director  

Project Management
Anne Denny | VP, Project Management Director 

Emily Portnoy | Chief Strategy Officer
Sam Chotiner | EVP, Executive Strategy Director
Danielle Noto | SVP, Group Strategy Director
Kyla Jackson | Strategist

Aaron Kovan | Chief Production Officer  
Stacy Flaum | SVP, Executive Producer 
Debbie Myllek | Talent Payment Manager  
David Halberstadt | Integrated Production Business Manager 
Jamie Jou | Director of Music Licensing

Stephanie Quartararo | Managing Advisor, Content Creation 
Tommy Murov | Post/VFX Advisor 

Craft Worldwide 
Andree Ljutica | Director  
Adam Hirsch | SVP, Head of Content, North America  
Zoe Greene | Executive Producer  
Kim Anderson | Line Producer  
Malik Dupree | Photographer 
Marta Gromysz | Business Director
Lisa Kawamoto | Client Partner Americas Language Services
Ajit Jha | Project Director, Translation

Corina Dennison | Executive Producer  
Laura Molinaro | Head of Production  
James Duffy | Editor  
Nick Schneider | Editor 

Revolve Audio 
Paul Weiss | Mix Engineer  
Gilda McCrann | Studio Director 


Amy Corr
Amy Corr is senior editor of Muse by Clio.

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