Toys ‘R’ Us AI Video Sparks Outrage, But Company Claims Success!

  • Editor
  • June 27, 2024

Toys ‘R’ Us recently debuted an AI-generated video created using OpenAI’s new tool, Sora. The video, intended as a brand film, showcases a young Charles Lazarus, the founder of Toys ‘R’ Us, in a dream-like sequence.

This production aims to capture the essence of the brand’s nostalgia and innovation, and it premiered at the 2024 Cannes Lions Festival and is currently available on the Toys ‘R’ Us website.

However, the video has sparked significant controversy and backlash online. Critics have highlighted various flaws in the AI-generated content, including inconsistent character models and distorted visuals.

The ad has been described as unsettling, with many finding the output of generative AI to be uncanny and lacking soul.

Creative professionals and the public have voiced concerns about the implications of using artificial intelligence in creative fields. Critics argue that using AI for such projects devalues human creativity and craftsmanship.

Some have also expressed disdain for using AI-generated content to target children, suggesting that it undermines the importance of human-created art. Despite the criticism, Toys ‘R’ Us and the creative agency Native Foreign have defended the project.

They emphasize that the video was a collaborative effort involving about a dozen people and that AI was used to enhance the creative process.

“I think this becomes part of our toolkit,” Toys “R” Us Studios president Kim Miller Olko said. “It was a test. I think it was successful. I think there was a lot of learnings. If the opportunity arises again, and it’s the right fit, we use it but it’s one of many different things that we would do.”

The controversy surrounding the Toys ‘R’ Us video highlights the broader debate about the role of AI in media and advertising. While AI-generated content can offer innovative solutions, it raises ethical and creative concerns.

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The challenge lies in balancing technological advancements with preserving human artistic integrity. The AI-generated video by Toys ‘R’ Us stands as a testament to the evolving landscape of digital media, showcasing the potential and pitfalls of integrating AI into creative industries.

As the debate continues, it remains to be seen how brands and creatives will navigate this complex terrain.

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Dave Andre


Digital marketing enthusiast by day, nature wanderer by dusk. Dave Andre blends two decades of AI and SaaS expertise into impactful strategies for SMEs. His weekends? Lost in books on tech trends and rejuvenating on scenic trails.

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