The Today show’s food reporter delivers a strange report on a viral AI-generated ad “for an imaginary pizza place called ‘Pepperoni Hug Spot’.”
Everything looks slightly … off. Generated by AI, the audience is reminded constantly through the uncanny valley that the people aren’t real — and neither is the pizza. “Cheese, pepperoni, vegetable, and more secret things,” says the voiceover, which is also artificially generated… “Knock, knock, who’s there? Pizza magic,” the AI narrator says after a delivery driver (whose steering column is on the left side of his car) is shown delivering a pizza.
“Eat Pepperoni Hug Spot pizza. Your tummy say ‘Thank you.’ Your mouth say, ‘Mmm,'” the ad continues while showing a trio of women eating pizza in the oddest possible fashion, complete with bizarre cheese pulls and facial contortions out of a food-based nightmare. “Pepperoni Hug Spot: Like family, but with more cheese…”
Using AI technologies Runway Gen2, Chat GPT4, Eleven Labs, Midjourney and Soundraw AI, the creator was able to produce the background music, voiceover, graphics, video and even generate the script for the ad. “I used Adobe After Effects to combine all the elements, adding title cards, transitions, and graphics,” he adds… Seeing it spread, he whipped up a website that fit the uncanny vibe of the commercial and even created merch including hats and T-shirts.
“I figured I should capitalize on my 15 minutes of internet fame, right?” he jokes.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk “simply responded with an exploding head emoji.”
And Pizza Hut’s official Twitter account posted their reaction: “My heebies have been jeebied.”
UPDATE: Saturday Pizza Hut Canada “transformed” one of its restaurants into the restaurant from the commercial, emblazoning the logo for Pepperoni Hug Spot onto its boxes, employee t-shirts, and the sign outside. There’s two videos on the official Instagram feed for Pizza Hut Canada (which for the occasion changed its tagline to “Like family, but with more cheese.”)
One video closes by promising the pizza does, indeed, contain “secret things.”