Toys 'R' Us created an almost entirely AI ad. It's a sign of how far tech has come — and how far it can go.

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Toys “R” Us

A screenshot of an AI-generated video released by Toys “R” Us. This is believed to be the first advertisement made with OpenAI's Sora.


Toys “R” Us is proving that artificial intelligence can have a future in film.

The retail toy brand premiered a short promo film at the 2024 Cannes Lions Festival in France this week that was created almost entirely using OpenAI's new text-to-video tool.

The company's entertainment studio partnered with creative agency Native Foreign, which had early access to Sora. Toys “R” Us said it believes it is the first brand to launch a movie using the technology. The tool is not yet publicly available.

The 66-second promo follows a young Toys “R” Us founder, Charles Lazarus, who dreams of transforming toy stores with the help of the brand's mascot, Jeffrey the Giraffe. The clip received mixed reactions on social media, with some calling it a compelling, fascinating look at the future of film. Others called it “creepy.”

Toys “R” Us said that in addition to Sora, it used some improvised visual effects and an original music score.

In February, OpenAI – the company behind the viral ChatGPT chatbot – introduced AI model Sora that it claimed could create realistic and imaginative videos with a quick text prompt. It said the tool is capable of creating videos up to 60 seconds and can render scenes with multiple characters, specific types of movement and detailed background details.

Following the announcement, experts said text-to-video-type AI models have the potential to disrupt the digital entertainment market.

Kim Miller, CMO of Toys “R” Us Creative studios, told CNN that the concept was born when she attended a brand storytelling group and told the host that she had some “fun ideas” for her next project. ” And want to “different”, the original story of the founder.

After local alien Sora became an early tester, chief creative officer Nick Klirov called Miller with a proposal to join forces.

“What you see was created with the text but some shots came together faster than others. Some took more repetition,” he said. “The blocking, the look of the character, what they're wearing, the emotion, the background — it has to be a perfect dance. Sometimes you'll create something that's almost right and other times not so right.

There was a lot of gut-checking and human involvement throughout the process, Miller said.

“Sometimes it checks a box, but with what's going on the reaction may not be in time,” he said. “It was a lot of learning and a lot of back and forth. It was an educational process.”

Miller, who was an early adopter of Facebook Live when she worked with Martha Stewart, believes the best way to understand the technology is to ignore what you're hearing from other people. Instead, experience it in reality.

“The same is true for AI,” he said.

He added that Toys “R” Us is currently exploring advertising opportunities for the promo.

“Our big mission is to make sure everyone knows there's a Toys 'R' Us at every Macy's, so the holidays can be repeated soon,” Miller said.

OpenAI has yet to announce an official release date for Sora, but rumors suggest it could launch later this summer.

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