Agency sings praises of AI as it uses tech to write new Christmas carols

December 21, 2018

Bath-based marketing communications agency Edit has harnessed the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to reconstruct carols to send to clients in place of traditional Christmas cards.

However, the agency, which works with brands such as Azzurri Group, Pizza Hut, Citroen and Fiat, found it still needed the human touch to complete its new Yuletide songs. 

Staff at Edit entered 1,550 lines from 60 well-known carols and into an IBM Watson Tone Analyzer. The AI technology then created five new songs with illustrations to match.

With each sentence, Watson identified words or phrases that were classified as one or more of the following tones: Joy, Confidence, Fear, Anger and Sadness.

Staff found that while the AI put together some creative combinations, all the carols still needed human skill to apply correct tenses, poetic rhythm, context and most importantly, cultural understanding.

Edit creative director Hannah Newcombe said: “We wanted to create something that was different from the typical Christmas cards sent in the post.

“AI is quickly becoming the go-to for creatives to dream up exciting and innovative ideas, taking the technical part of computer science and giving them a human finish.

Making use of the Tone Analyzer is an example of how Edit is using AI to bring together the bulk processing and analysis capability of the technology in support of the skilled humans who can then take the output and add the necessary human control to it.

Hannah added: “In summary, AI is a wonderfully, mischievous and bizarre toy for creatives to experiment with. It can be a great thought provoker; writers unblock, or simply the fresh eyes needed to put a twist on a campaign. What it creates is harmony and happy accidents between humans and machines.”

She said one lesson to take from the exercise was that there will always be a bias with AI as it can only show combinations of the information that humans input into it in the first place.

“For now, the world of AI is rich with opportunity – humans just need to play with the possibilities,” she said.

Edit, part of international marketing group Kin + Carta (formerly St Ives), employs 250 people working on customer relationship management and media, marketing technology and data science,

For more on its AI Christmas carol trial go to

Click on the images below to enlarge and read the new carols


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