When it comes to the creative side of advertising, the promise of artificial intelligence — so that it can create ads that are optimized in all possible ways — has mostly been the subject of satire.
Twitter spawned a memo on how to get bots to watch 1000 hours of programming on write funny erroneous (and fictional) scripts, and Burger King took the main course of the joke by making an ad campaign allegedly written by AI, which celebrated a chicken sandwich that "tastes like a bird." At the start of this campaign, global head of Burger King brand manager Marcelo Pascoa noted: “Artificial intelligence is not a substitute for a great creative idea coming from a real person.”
Now Lexus has put this requirement to the test.
The automaker and The & Partnership created what they describe as the first ad written by AI and directed by the winner of the Oscars (Kevin MacDonald, who won the best documentary in one day in September 2000).
The creation of the ad required a huge amount of background work, including a visual analysis of the last 15 years of the Cannes lion-winner and luxury ads. But before we take a closer look at how this was done, let's look at the announcement itself:
The ad tells the story of a Lexus engineer who finishes working on a new ES model, which then uses a painting disc before undergoing an odd and highly published crash test.
To be clear from the point of view of copywriting and general creativity, this is not a star ad. Despite the fact that MacDonald shot beautifully and convincingly, the script of the spot definitely looks like a Sunday drive through a supernatural valley, with scattered ideas forming a storyline that is less narrative than a series of proven boxes.
“I thought I would write an ad using AI. Instead, he took over and wrote the whole script. ”
Dave Bedwood, Creative Partner, The & Partnership London.
However, this is a worthy project for the industry to carefully consider. While relatively primitive in its ability to tell stories, the technique shows an eerie amount of potential.
“I thought I would write an ad using AI,” says Dave Bedwood, creative partner of The & Partnership London. “Instead, he took over and wrote the whole script: the car told the story of the revival of the car. Many other works of AI today were interesting because of the process itself. It was fascinating – maybe scary, because the end product is good in itself. ”
So why did the AI write what he did? Here is another look at the announcement, this time a pause to explain the data point behind each scene:
“It was both a challenging and exciting project,” says Alex Newland, co-founder of Visual Voice, the leading technology provider for the project. “From the very beginning it was almost impossible to know what level of quality or intelligibility AI will produce. To see the project, assembled together with such a rich finished part, it is extremely pleasant to watch. We believe that this project translates the content created by AI from an innovative stunt to the beginning of true, independent creative merit. "
While the AI review of 15 years of advertisements made in Cannes was the basis of the creative process, it was supplemented with several other injections of data and insight. Unruly's emotional intelligence data helped the machine learning process to understand which parts of the ad provoked a reaction from the audience. The agency then tried to teach AI “intuitions” and how intuitive viewers react to advertisements, experimenting with the MindX applied research laboratory based at the University of New South Wales
“Working on the collaboration between Lexus, Kevin Macdonald and creative designer AI has become our most exciting raid to“ great, bold and bionic ”creative potential to date,” says Sarah Golding, CEO of The & Partnership London. “It's amazing to see how the AI is absorbed and painted on the most expensive cars and luxury commercials of Cannes lions – but the spoon of the magic sauce is an understanding of our AI human intuition and how to evoke an emotional response in the audience.”