Toys ‘R’ Us Drops First AI-Generated Brand Video Using OpenAI’s Sora

Toys “R” Us has dropped the first ever AI-generated brand video using OpenAI’s Sora to tell the origin story of the company’s mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe.

Toys “R” Us declared bankruptcy in 2018, closing all of its stores across the United States and the rest of the world but it has since been purchased by WHP Global and the brand has reappeared in Macy’s department stores.

The company revealed the AI promo film at the Cannes Lions Festival this week with netizens mostly hating on the project. However, some were left impressed by the technology.

Toys “R” Us partnered with creative agency Native Foreign for the film which is not entirely AI-generated; corrective visual effects were used to perfect the ad and an original music score was added in post.

The video is 66 seconds long but only 28 seconds was uploaded to YouTube. The full video was released on the Toys “R” Us website here.

A Harbinger for Industry Change?

Though many denigrated the video for being “creepy” and “trash”, it is one of the more coherent AI videos and as Kenny Le points out on Threads, “A few years ago, creating this commercial would have cost them six figures and months. Today, it likely took just a few hours and a couple of hundred bucks.”

Some believe that AI video has the potential to disrupt the digital entertainment market with the chief creative officer of Native Foreign, Nik Kleverov, telling CNN that his agency was an early tester of Sora and pitched the idea of an AI video to Toys “R” Us creative studio.

“Everything you see was created with text but some shots came together quicker than others; some took more iterations,” Kleverov says.

“The blocking, the way the character looks, what they’re wearing, the emotion, the background – it has to be a perfect dance. Sometimes you would create something that was almost right and other times not so right.”

However, an X user points out that the main character looks a little different in each shot. Character consistency will be a big challenge for AI video generators going forward.