BBDO creates first AI film for Simon

Homeless charity Dublin Simon Community has a new campaign which for the first time in Ireland uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Created by BBDO Dublin and New York production company Lobo, Unfair City aims to highlight the growing inequality of homelessness and raise funds for some of the most vulnerable people in Irish society.

Unfair City tells the story of Justin Cannon, a man who was once homeless.

Cannon now volunteers for Dublin Simon. He was interviewed and his story animated using AI image generators. In that sense, the AI imagery was created by the narrator’s own words. It also shows how, almost counterintuitively, the use of AI can help make the telling of the story feel human and authentic by protecting the person’s dignity and privacy.

Robert Boyle, BBDO Dublin, said one difficulty in telling stories of homelessness is that it exposes people who Simon support. “Reliving traumatic moments in their lives in front of cameras, lights and microphones can make them feel vulnerable,” Boyle said. “AI allowed Justin to tell his story on his own terms in a way that’s both engaging and evocative.”

Although the images were created with AI, using tools such as Midjourney and Disco Diffusion, the images are presented in water colour. The unpolished brush strokes and abstract use of the images helped maintain humanity and reality. BBDO Dublin, director Diogo Kalil of Lobo and illustrator Vini Bustamante worked on the campaign for Simon pro bono.

Over 8,000 people in Dublin are currently homeless.

To watch Simon’s Unfair City, click on the link below…


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