From Escape Recruitment game to brand communication

Exciting projects honoured at the first AI Communication Award

Artificial intelligence as a tool for use in the podcast jungle, the Escape Recruitment game and in creative work for Instagram – these are the winning projects at the first AI Communication Award. One student has also examined how AI influences brand communication. The prizes have now been awarded in Kupferzell. The Minister of Economic Affairs for Baden-Württemberg, Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, enjoyed the award presentation: “As with all technologies of the future, the use of AI also needs pioneers and inspirational examples that embolden others to act – this has truly been achieved with today’s award-winning projects.”

“Many people and companies still have qualms about the use of AI,” says CEO Dr. Marc Wucherer from the organizer Ziehl-Abegg. “We want to provide encouragement and to demonstrate prime examples of solutions in which AI is used in communication.” After all, communication is well suited for the use of artificial intelligence. The industrial company Ziehl-Abegg has been seen for a number of years as a trendsetter in the area of corporate communications on TikTok and with e-sports. “This experience shows how important it is to address new issues at an early stage,” says Dr. Wucherer. In the years ahead, the AI heart of Europe will beat increasingly louder in Heilbronn at the IPAI. The award therefore provides an ideal fit for the Heilbronn-Franconia region.

“The range of award-winning solutions shows just how versatile AI can be in generating real added value for companies,” emphasizes Johannes Keller. The jury chairman manages around 50 technical AI experts at appliedAI, Europe’s largest initiative for the application of trusted AI technology in companies. AppliedAI has been operating as a joint venture between UnternehmerTUM (non-profit limited company run by Susanne Klatten) and the Heilbronn-based IPAI (Innovation Park Artificial Intelligence) since 2022.

Minister Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut emphasizes the basic approach: “Artificial intelligence (AI) as a basic technology has been adopted by various industrial sectors for some time now. In this context, we need an approach that focuses on the opportunities of AI for the world of business and employment and at the same time looks for solutions to the challenges posed by this technology.” Exploiting the potential of AI therefore means dealing with the possibilities of using AI in an active way. This is especially true for creative areas such as marketing and communication. “With the AI Communication Award, Ziehl-Abegg is sending out a clear signal,” said the minister, adding: “I would like to congratulate Ziehl-Abegg and all of this evening’s award winners for this groundbreaking initiative!”

The prizes were awarded in four categories:

Category: Creative / Interactive Application

Escape game / Volksbank Bühl

An online Escape game for a Volksbank Bühl event with the influencer Bob Blume.

Volksbank Bühl planned an event with influencer Bob Blume to give a lecture on AI at school, giving the students the chance to win up to 555 euros for their class fund.

Participation by young people in classic competitions at previous events was low. The question was how to spark their interest in actively participating in the competition? Immediately after the lecture the students had 30 minutes for an online Escape game. The content of the lecture was enhanced in a fun way through interactive storytelling and the use of AI puzzles. Anyone who successfully solved the game gained automatic qualification for the competition. This activity was not only entertaining but also motivates the students to play an active part in the event and apply their knowledge.

The implementation of AI played a crucial role in the development of the Escape game. A significant proportion of the content, including graphics, dialogue and photos, was created with the help of AI. The versatile application of AI enhanced the Escape game and made a significant contribution towards creating an exciting gaming experience.

Category: Marketing / Communication Strategy

Revolution in B2B Marketing: Achieving success on Instagram with AI & creativity / Rational AG

Rational AG, the market leader in the field of professional cooking systems, revolutionized its Instagram marketing with AI tools – without having to increase the budget. An example of how technology and creativity can also be used in the B2B sector to achieve outstanding success in the field of communication.

The objective was for the Rational Instagram channel to reach new heights in the 2023 financial year whilst keeping to the same budget, with production remaining in-house. The challenge was clearly defined: to improve performance using the same resources.

The company has integrated AI into the social media team, not just as a tool but as a new team member. “AI is our digital ally, a loyal colleague that helps us to make more efficient and creative use of our time – from developing a new strategy to community management support: AI is our additional, new brain enabling us to achieve peak performance despite limited resources,” writes Rational.

The results are clearly backed up by the numbers: over 35,000 new followers, representing a growth of 87 percent (always compared to the previous year); an additional 270 new videos and a 120 percent increase in views, as well as a 44 percent increase in engagement on the channel. Thanks to the intelligent use of AI, Rational has achieved a saving in time of more than 25 percent compared to the previous process.

Category: AI Products / Platform Solutions

PodMon penetrates the Podcast jungle / SMA Development GmbH

The decentralized, fragmented world of podcasting makes it difficult to find relevant content. With PodMon, users are able to find relevant snippets without having to listen for a minute. PodMon analyzes topics and trends so that everyone can quickly find suitable content.

AI-based podcast content monitoring provides real-time contextual analysis at episode level, down to the very second; it also offers podcast market analyses of key topics and trends in over 80,000 podcasts and enables insights and contextual data for advertisers for improved context-sensitive ad-placements. It also offers podcast selection, brand fit and brand safety analyses for companies.

Category: Students

How Artificial Intelligence is changing the rules of the game in brand communication / Mario Mirschberger

In his master’s thesis, Mario Mirschberger examines how AI technologies can be integrated into the fundamental components of brand development processes to provide effective and efficient support for these processes. His findings: AI technologies have significant potential in brand management and offer new insights and gains in efficiency. Brands can also be effectively developed using AI, with minimal human intervention. And ultimately, there is no significant difference in societal perception between AI-generated brands and those developed by traditional agencies.

The award in the Student category comes with prize money of EUR 2,000.

The award ceremony, which was held at the DeSi restaurant in Kupferzell, is not only a celebration of the winners but also an opportunity for networking and an exchange of ideas as the event was embedded in the second Social Media Days, in turn resulting in additional synergies and networking opportunities. At the Social Media Days event, 140 experts from companies, government departments and organisations from the DACH region met in Hohenlohe to learn about and exchange ideas on the use of AI in communication and current trends in digital marketing. The event was organized once again by Ziehl-Abegg.

Jury of experts

The jury comprised leading figures in the fields of AI, digitalization and marketing. The jury was chaired by Johannes Keller of appliedAI. The jury included experts in AI/digitalization: Prof. Dr. Seon-Su Kim (Cooperative State University Baden-Württemberg), Prof. Dr. Daniel Werth (Steinbeis Institute Heilbronn), Prof. Dr. Alexandra Reichenbach (University of Heilbronn) und Prof. Dr. Helmut Krcmar (Technical University of Munich). The jury for the area of marketing/creativity included: Prof. Dr. Markus Besenbeck (President of the Marketing Club Main-Franken), Corinne Nauber (President of the Marketing Club Stuttgart-Heilbronn), Prof. Volker Helzle (Head of Research and Development, Institute of Animation at the Baden-Württemberg Film Academy) and Dr. Christina Blumentritt (President of the Marketing Club Nuremberg).

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