Toys R Us Origin Story Trailer Shows Off OpenAI’s Sora Text-To-Video AI Tool

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Toys R Us has become the first company to create the a branded film using OpenAI’s Sora text-to-video AI tool, telling the iconic toy store’s origin story.

Generative AI has seemingly been advancing at breakneck speeds lately. Whether it be Adobe’s Firefly creating incredible images from text prompts, or Luma AI’s new Dream Machine producing mind-boggling videos from image and text prompts, the technology has been amazing users with its astounding abilities. Now, Toys R Us has delivered its origin story through the use of OpenAI’s Sora AI tool, raising the bar even higher.

In a press release, the toy company announced its Toys”R”Us Studios, the entertainment arm of the company, partnered with Emmy-nominated creative agency Native Foreign, whose Chief Creative has alpha access to Sora, to create a stunning video. The video premiered during the 2024 Cannes Lions Festival to an audience of brand and advertising industry leaders at an exclusive event in France.

OpenAI’s Sora can generate videos up to a minute in length, and features realistic scenes and multiple characters, all based on typed-in instructions. In the featured video, the story of the toy company’s founder, Charles Lazarus, is told as Geoffrey the Giraffe comes to Lazarus in a dream when he was a boy. Ultimately, Lazarus’ dream came true, as he opened his first Toys R Us store in 1957.

“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. Our brand embraces innovation and the emotional appeal of Toys”R"Us to connect with consumers in unexpected ways. We aim to capture that nostalgic feeling and deliver it uniquely to Toys"R"Us kids of all ages. 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," remarked Kim Miller Olko, President of Toys”R”Us Studios.

WHP Global bought the toy store in a 2018 liquidation sale, giving new life to the once failing brand. In 2021 Toys R Us partnered with Macy’s, with the two companies agreeing to sell toys on Macy’s website, as well as opening shops-within-shops at 400 department stores. In 2023, Toys R Us announced it was opening another 24 flagship stores, as well as opening stores at airports and cruise ships.

“The creative industry is experiencing a renaissance, much like Toys”R"Us," explained Nik Kleverov, Chief Creative Officer at Native Foreign. “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."

The Toys R Us Sora video was created in just a few weeks, condensing hundreds of iterative shots down to a couple dozen, according to the press release. The company remarked the video was nearly entirely made with Sora, with only a few corrective VFX and an original music score being added.