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Toys ‘R’ Us Celebrates its Renaissance with New AI-Generated Origin Film

Image courtesy Toys 'R' Us Studios

Using Sora, a new text-to-video tool from OpenAI that has not yet been released to the public, Toys ‘R’ Us Studios and creative agency Native Foreign have created a short video telling the story of Toys ‘R’ Us founder Charles Lazarus and his idea that transformed toy stores, including the appearance of beloved mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe in a dream. Sora can generate up to one-minute-long videos featuring realistic scenes and multiple characters — all based on typed-in instructions.

“Charles Lazarus was a visionary ahead of his time, and we wanted to honor his legacy with a spot using the most cutting-edge technology available,” said Kim Miller Olko, Chief Marketing Officer at Toys ‘R’ Us and President of Toys ‘R’ Us Studios in a statement. “Partnering with Native Foreign to push the boundaries of OpenAI’s Sora is truly exciting. Dreams are full of magic and endless possibilities, and so is Toys ‘R’ Us.”

The film, which premiered at the 2024 Cannes Lions Festival, moved from concept to reality in just a few weeks, condensing hundreds of iterative shots down to a couple dozen. Executive produced by Miller Olko and directed by Native Foreign Chief Creative Officer Nik Kleverov, the film was produced almost entirely with Sora, with the addition of some corrective video effects and an original music score composed by Copeland’s Aaron Marsh.

“The creative industry is experiencing a renaissance, much like Toys ‘R’ Us,” said Kleverov in a statement. “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.”

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