AI-generated 'ads' for beer and pizza offer glimpse of the future of film

Creative experiments lead to "machine-learning interpretations" of advertising
Roland Ellison
Screenshot 2023-04-27 at 13.23.48.png
'Synthetic Summer' was produced by Private Island


As the pace of development in AI and Machine Learning continues to accelerate, creative producers have started to release the results of some of their experiments in video using tools like Stable Diffusion, Midjourney and ControlNet to produce ad campaigns for imaginary brands.

This week saw the release of two dummy ads, one for an American beer and another for a pizza brand.

The results are impressive and disturbing in equal measure, with a strange aesthetic that looks more like something you'd see in an Aphex Twin music video, than an ad you'd see on TV.

Take a look at the American beer ad below:

According to Chris Boyle, co-founder of London-based Private Island who produced the 'Synthetic Summer' video above, it was generated from text prompts.

He told IE: "We've been using Stable Diffusion, Control Net and Runway to understand new forms of moving and generative image for the last 12 months - exploring new ways of working and new mediums of visuals powered by Machine Learning".

"We are creating a series of in-house experiments that help us figure out how these tools can be used in production. Most of our work combines live-action and animation so this kind of stuff seems like a natural evolution."

"Synthetic Summer is a machine-learning interpretation of an American beer advert", he added.

Meanwhile this week, a user on Reddit called PizzaLater posted: "Definitely wasted 3 hours of my life making this today... Everything is AI from the VO to the video and images. Assembled in After Effects."

Later adding more detail: "Breakdown: Script - GPT4Images - MidjourneyVideo Clips - Runway Gen2VO - Eleven LabsMusic - SOUNDRAW AI Music. Generated all the assets and then spent the better part of my afternoon assembling in AE with graphics etc.."

As with much of the most convincing AI-generated imagery we've seen recently, it's the hands and mouths that give the game away.

The unnatural-looking movements of the hands and mouths of the 'people' featured - particularly near the products they are supposed to be promoting - give these videos a certain novelty factor, and you wonder how soon it will be before we can tell the difference.

In the meantime, it will be fascinating to see where animators and filmmakers take this new technology next. As Chris Boyle said in his LinkedIn post announcing the Synthetic Summer experiment: "Buckle up, it's gonna get weeeeeird."