Toys’R’Us AI-Generated Ad Using OpenAI’s Sora Ignites Controversy

Toys’R’Us AI-Generated Ad Using OpenAI’s Sora Ignites Controversy

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The legacy toy retailer Toys’R’Us ad was generated via Sora AI from OpenAI as an abomination. The first-ever band film generated via the text-to-video tool by OpenAI was controversial. 

The audience of the one-minute film unveiled during the Cannes Lions Festival held in the previous week and available online since June Tuesday 25 expressed displeasure. 

AI-Generated Film Attract Criticism

The video identified as ‘The Origin of Toys’R’Us details the origin of the legacy retailer since Charles Lazarus established the initial toy store in 1957.

The film restores the retailer’s mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe, and integrates multiple visual effects predominantly created using text prompts for the Sora. 

The toys retailer engaged the Emmy-nominated Native Foreign to create the film. Native Foreign chief creative executive Nik Kleverov hailed Sora’s capabilities. He touted the ability to tell the narrative quickly and efficiently. 


The announcement revealed that the team made the concept a reality in a few weeks. The task involved condensing multiple iterative shots to several dozens. The team needed to edit the output and integrate several corrective visual effects work. The team hailed Aaron Marsh from the rock band Copeland for commissioning the music score. 

Film Makers Reacted to Toys’R’Us Harshly

Kleverov hailed Toys’R’Us for adopting the AI-forward strategy to lead others into the subsequent wave of innovative storytelling. Nonetheless, the brand film is attracting mixed reactions from the online community. 

Allen considered the advertisement film to portray exciting days ahead. The AI videomaker specialist decried the film, pointing out challenges in several details, such as the hands and the character’s appearance, to ensure consistency in each scene. 

The filmmaking industry reacted harshly, regretting that Toys’R’Us contributed to the madness. Lead film writer and producer Luke Barnett called the ad a shitty-looking commercial. 

Actor Elias Toufexis expressed gratitude that Toys’R’Us was facing financial challenges. Its exit from business was deserved, and decrying its revival only to bring a devastating film. 

Author Theo Priestley profiled the advertisement as an abomination. The podcaster indicated the film was too cheap and questioned the actors’ motives.

Priestley observed that Toys’R’Us firmly stated they suffer imagination inadequacy to offer a shit-looking product to the core audience. 

Adopting artificial intelligence (AI) in filmmaking and creative projects has remained a divisive subject since the unveiling of ChatGPT in 2022. 

Fierce Competition in Text-to-Video Tools

Integrating AI was a contested element during the protracted labor strike witnessed in Hollywood in 2023. The advocates for AI have drawn widespread criticism from the employees.  

OpenAI chief technology executive Mira Murati admitted that using artificial intelligence will eliminate the need for human labor in sections deserving automation. 

The Toys’R’Us ad coincides with a period when actor Ashton Koutcher spurred criticism for hailing Sora as saving time and money on film production. He would later respond to the outrage by indicating that AI adoption in creative space is inevitable. 

Kutcher termed Sora as a fantastic tool that filmmakers should use in their quest to become efficient and prolific artists. He warned that ignoring its existence is catastrophic. 

Toys’R’Us and Kutcher join other platforms that have publicly admitted they are tapping Sora’s capabilities in filmmaking. Multimedia production firm Shy Kids admitted to utilizing the Sora tool to create the short film titled Air Head.

Sora availability exists in the closed beta stage, where only a select number of creators can test the tool. Its unveiling has seen competitors emerge with alternatives and advanced text-to-video AI models. 

Synthesia is leading other tech companies, including Lumalabs and Runway, in launching video generation platforms. 

The popularity of text-to-video AI models has attracted the entry of Chinese tech firms. The field has seen entrants of Kuaishou’s Kling and ShengShu Technology’s Vidu with promise to offer impressive capabilities in AI-generated video content with comparable results to OpenAI’s Sora. 

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Christopher Craig
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Christopher Craig

Christopher Craig, a crypto literary savant, masterfully deciphers the intricate world of blockchain. Blending astute analysis with a clear narrative, Christopher's articles offer readers a lucid understanding of digital currencies. As the crypto sector expands, his erudite insights continue to guide both novices and seasoned enthusiasts

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