Case Study: Dentsu’s Leap into Generative AI with Amazon Web Services

In early 2024, Dentsu announced a strategic extension of its partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to scale its generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) capabilities, aiming to foster brand growth through innovation. This move leveraged Amazon Bedrock for accessing foundation models and Amazon SageMaker for developing machine learning models, underscoring Dentsu’s commitment to integrating AI into its operations and offerings.

Key Takeaways

  • Dentsu has significantly enhanced the efficiency and creativity of its global workforce, which includes over 72,000 employees, by leveraging generative AI technologies.
  • The adoption of AWS services has streamlined the deployment process for third-party and open-source models, leading to a surge in innovation within the company.
  • Dentsu has established a comprehensive, enterprise-grade GenAI stack that incorporates leading AI technologies while adhering to high standards for security, privacy, and responsible AI use.
  • Through the strategic implementation of AI technologies, Dentsu has witnessed a notable increase in productivity and has unlocked the potential for innovative solutions that cater to client needs.

Approach

Dentsu’s approach involved adopting two key AWS services: Amazon Bedrock and Amazon SageMaker. This strategic move was built on the foundation of Dentsu’s existing utilization of AI tools from various providers, aiming to leverage GenAI for accelerating innovation and enhancing productivity. The adoption was designed to allow for easy access to leading AI technologies, ensuring high standards for security, privacy, and responsible AI use.

Implementation

The implementation of generative AI technologies at Dentsu began with an ambitious pilot within Dentsu Digital in Japan, facilitated through a close partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS). This initiative, part of a closed preview program with AWS, was designed to pioneer the use of Amazon Bedrock and Amazon SageMaker within the company. The goal was to streamline access to foundational AI models and machine learning development processes, thus significantly enhancing Dentsu’s ability to innovate at scale. This phase was crucial for setting the groundwork, involving rigorous testing, feedback collection, and iteration to ensure the technologies were seamlessly integrated into Dentsu’s existing workflows and infrastructure.

As Dentsu embarked on this transformative journey, the focus was not only on technological adoption but also on fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration across its global network. The company’s leadership recognized the importance of upskilling its workforce to leverage these new tools effectively. Thus, Dentsu invested in extensive training programs and workshops, aiming to equip its employees with the necessary skills and knowledge. This collaborative effort across different regions and teams was instrumental in breaking down silos, encouraging knowledge sharing, and facilitating a more agile and innovative approach to projects. It also ensured that employees could confidently apply GenAI technologies to prototype development and client solutions, thereby maximizing the potential for creative and efficient outcomes.

Results

Following the strategic adoption of Amazon Bedrock and Amazon SageMaker, Dentsu witnessed transformative results that reshaped its operational and service delivery models. The implementation facilitated a significant enhancement in the company’s capability to deploy AI-powered solutions on a grand scale, thereby boosting its efficiency and innovation capacity. Customizing advertising use cases with proprietary data became more streamlined and secure, leading to a noticeable improvement in productivity. This fusion of technology with the expertise of local teams empowered Dentsu to craft tailored, impactful solutions for its clients. Moreover, the initiative paved the way for the development of novel products and services, thereby driving client outcomes and contributing to brand growth.

Challenges and Barriers

Dentsu faced significant challenges in ensuring the responsible use of generative AI, particularly in addressing security, privacy, and bias concerns, necessitating robust governance and ethical frameworks. The rapid advancement of AI technologies required the continuous upskilling of Dentsu’s workforce to maintain their effectiveness in leveraging these new tools. Integrating GenAI capabilities efficiently and cost-effectively into the company’s services also presented substantial hurdles, emphasizing the need for strategic planning and execution.

Future Outlook

Dentsu’s adoption of GenAI technologies marks a pivotal step in its journey towards innovation-led brand growth. The company anticipates continued contributions to clients’ growth and transformation, supported by an ongoing partnership with AWS. This outlook is characterized by a commitment to responsible AI use, aiming to redefine the benchmarks for efficiency, creativity, and productivity in the industry.

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Sources:
Collaboration between Dentsu and AWS to Expand GenAI Advancements for Brand Growth
Dentsu adds new AI tools in expansion of AWS partnership
Dentsu Teams Up with AWS to Further Scale GenAI Innovation for Brands
Dentsu’s incoming data, tech chief discusses how generative AI could shape the future
Dentsu adds new AI tools in expansion of AWS partnership


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