Who: Lexus, The&Partnership and IBM’s Watson
What: An ad written by artificial intelligence, directed by Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald.
When and where: Running across Europe starting next week.
Why: Lexus is selling the extensive technology incorporated into its ES executive sedans: Technology that meets driver needs so seamlessly it should, according to Lexus, start to feel almost like human intuition. The ad was inspired by that melding of data processing and innate human qualities, using machine learning and AI to come up with the script.
How: A collaborative effort from The&Partnership, IBMWatson, Visual Recognition and MindX (from the University of South Wales), that “trained” the AI on human intuition and emotional intelligence and poured into it 15 years of Cannes Lions winning car and luxury ads. The AI took those inputs and produced the script.
What did the AI learn from the ads it studied?
•The car doesn’t need to drive at all, unless this is part of the story.
•The driving should be peripheral to the story.
•Characters in the story should have an emotional designator – for example a husband or father over driver or engineer.
•The use of children helps increase the emotionality of an advert.
•Strong facial expressions are more powerful than strong language.
•Ads are most effective where use of the spoken word is limited.
•Use of a midpoint or twist such as an unexpected event—a crash or near miss—is important to keep the story moving and to maintain interest.
The Quote: “The ES is both intuitive and innovative, so we wanted the advert to reflect this. The resulting film surpasses our expectations of what an AI is capable of, from its creativity to its human emotion.” —Vincent Tabel, senior brand manager at Lexus Europe. -David Brown