Toys ‘R’ Us Unveils AI-Driven Storytelling



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3 min


26 June, 2024

AI is continuing to take the marketing and creative industry by storm, helping multiple brands produce campaigns in a fraction of the time.

Its capabilities can’t be ignored and regardless of what product or service you’re selling, or how big your marketing team is, we can all benefit from a little helping hand.

Since ChatGPT kickstarted the AI hysteria back in November 2022, the platform has now launched Sora ​​- a new text-to-video tool that transforms text descriptions into video clips.

Toys ‘R’ Us is one of the first brands to leverage the power of the tool with help from creative agency Native Foreign and Chief Creative Officer Nik Kleverov who had early access to Sora. With this, he was able to create one-minute photo-realistic videos about the retailer’s origin, bringing customers into the brand story.

The video takes viewers back to the beginning and shows the journey of founder, Charles Lazarus, in creating Toys R Us and its famous brand mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe. Kim Miller Olko, President of Toys ‘R’ Us Studios, served as the executive producer, with Nik Kleverov directing the video project.

Hosted on the brand’s website, the video also mentions the retailer’s pop-up stores in Macy’s locations. Last year, parent company WHP Global announced a partnership with Go Retail Group to launch up to 24 flagship stores in the U.S. beginning in 2024.

Despite filing for bankruptcy back in 2017 and liquidating its stores the following year, Toys ‘R’ Us now generates $2 billion in annual retail sales thanks to its various strategic initiatives.

Kleverov had the following to say:

The creative industry is experiencing a renaissance, much like Toys ‘R’ Us. Through Sora, we were able to tell this incredible story with remarkable speed and efficiency. Toys”R”Us is the perfect brand to embrace this AI-forward strategy, and we are thrilled to collaborate with their creative team to help lead the next wave of innovative storytelling.

As mentioned briefly, one of the greatest benefits of AI is its ability to make tasks quicker and more efficient. Instead of relying on several members of staff who will have other things to do, the tool condenses this workload making it more manageable.

With Sora at their disposal, Toys ‘R’ Us went from concept to final product in just a few weeks, streamlining numerous iterations into a handful of key shots.

It’s not just Toys R Us who are realising the potential of AI.

FMCG brands Coca-Cola and Starburst have already experimented with the platform and used it to create campaign materials, again freeing up precious time and resources across their teams.

We can’t ignore the power of AI, and the best approach for creatives across the industry is to embrace it and work with it.

Whilst it shouldn’t be relied on for everything, and it’s definitely not a direct replacement for humans, it can be advantageous when used properly to support existing plans and ideas.

Hey I'm Tony, Founder and Director of Canny Creative. I eat, sleep and bleed Canny to be honest. I'm an absolute workaholic (and yes, I know that's not a good thing!).

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