Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Business Marketing

McDonalds innovates their ad visuals with mind-tripping AI

McDonald’s Lunar New Year ad showed off some pretty convincing AI generation – what do these tools say about the future of marketing?

AI is continuing to proliferate the marketing scene in 2023, with the McDonald’s Lunar New Year ad being the most recent benefactor of AI-generated visuals.

According to Marketing Dive, McDonalds collaborated with Karen X Cheng, an author and digital designer, to create an ad that uses something called neural radiance fields—affectionately abbreviated to “NeRF”—to generate a 3D environment via AI. 

The ad in question explores a freeze-frame of a family eating at a McDonald’s while Cheng narrates the scene, explaining the significance of Lunar New Year to her while the camera pans about and then goes into the food bag on the table, emerging on the “other side” of the bag in a brand-new scene that features Cheng in the flesh.

When the ad ends, a QR code that links to other aspects of the campaign—including an AR filter celebrating the transition into the Year of the Rabbit on Instagram—appears on a pedestal. Reportedly, other elements of the campaign include “3D sculptures” of the 12 animals that are representative of different years.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Cheng herself graced the metaverse in which all of these campaign pieces take place as well, joining virtually via an avatar on February 2nd. 

The interesting thing about all of this is that, as impossible as the visuals themselves actually are (unless someone out there really has traveled through a McDonald’s happy meal bag wormhole into an alternate reality), the NeRF technology is extremely convincing; the scenes themselves look real enough, and while it’s clear that some digital trickery has been used, AI generation is not the punchline at which one would be expected to arrive when viewing the ad.

Of course, it’s worth noting that McDonalds is just the latest to use AI in an advertising spot. Marketing Dive reports that Ryan Reynolds’ most recent Mint Mobile ad was “partially scripted” by ChatGPT, and more and more companies are finding themselves participating in what many refer to as a “metaverse” of digital and AI-generated content.

As the future of advertising unfolds in front of consumers, it may very well become impossible for most to discern between fact and fiction as far as AI goes.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Jack Lloyd has a BA in Creative Writing from Forest Grove's Pacific University; he spends his writing days using his degree to pursue semicolons, freelance writing and editing, oxford commas, and enough coffee to kill a bear. His infatuation with rain is matched only by his dry sense of humor.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.



Opinion Editorials

Where ChatGPT is starting to run, Clippy was the first to walk. What if we returned the crown to the rightful ruler of chat...

Tech News

AI seemed fifty-ish years away before it really makes a dent in the career world, but the truth is, it's actually right around the...

Business Marketing

One TikToker is going viral promoting a "nonworkaholic" philosophy and advocating for selling a ChatGPT-written resume or language translation.

Business News

Everyone and their mother (well, many not all mothers as AI is a foreign concept still) has heard of ChatGPT. Could it take over...

The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.