Edition 158

In this week’s Our Take, hidden homelessness reveals itself in an unexpected location, Pedigree gives mutts an AI makeover,  a photographer’s surreal snap cons AI aficionados, and an Irish star shoots even higher.

Snap Back to Reality

Image:“F L A M I N G O N E” by Miles Astray

Can AI make art? Can AI tell a joke? Can AI TAKE a joke?

AI’s role in the creative fields is a hot topic, to say the least, and the bots are certainly making inroads in the industry. Photographer Miles Astray fought back, by making inroads into AI’s creative patch. He submitted a human-made image (a.k.a. a photograph) to the AI category of the prestigious 1839 Awards, and guess what — he won the People’s Vote and a Jury Award for his image F L A M I N G O N E.

The judges promptly disqualified his work once they found out the truth, but according to Miles himself this was his plan right from the start. Inspired by a myriad of cases where AI won art competitions, he decided to “twist this story inside down and upside out the way only a human could, by submitting a real photo into an AI competition.”

We suspect that an AI judge might not have been so easily fooled, but the prank shows that for now, ‘human-made art’ is still winning.

Pedigree’s Adoptable drives paw-sitive social change

Image: Pedigree

Life is ruff for dogs in rescue shelters, and the photos show it. They capture the poor animals’ anxiety and discomfort instead of their true personalities. Why does this matter? Because it’s the photo that adopters see on the shelter’s website, and nobody’s at their ‘pick me’ best when they’re stressed. Enter Pedigree with their mutt makeover campaign: Adoptable.

Pedigree uses AI to turn amateur photos of stressed animals taken by shelter workers into professional-grade images, boosting the dogs’ appeal. Pedigree ensures these transformed photos reach the right audiences at the right time – all Pedigree ads feature dogs in the local area, and once the dog is adopted, it drops out of the media rotation.

In the first two weeks of this campaign, 50% of featured dogs were adopted, and shelter visitors increased sixfold.

Now that deserves a round of a-paws.

Hidden Homes

Image: IKEA Australia

Location, location, location. It’s about homes, of course. But it’s also about the perfect place to campaign against homelessness.

We’re all familiar with how Ikea showcases its products in stylish ‘roomsets’ throughout its stores.  Right now, in Australia, shoppers will encounter roomsets of the ‘secondary living conditions’ – a car, a tent, or a couch – used by parents and children fleeing from domestic violence.

IKEA Australia has teamed up with Save the Children Australia to reveal ‘hidden homelessness’ in a place where we take our homes for granted. It brings home (literally) the scale and severity of homelessness and the horrors of domestic violence and abuse that drive so much of it.

It’s not a pretty topic by any means. But the way IKEA has gone about it is flawless.

Derry Girl Dazzles

Image: SKIMS

In a gold star PR-worthy move, Kim Kardashian has tapped Nicola Coughlan, known for her roles in Bridgerton and Derry Girls, to be the latest face, and bod, of her shapewear and clothing brand, SKIMS. And Coughlan isn’t just featured in the brand’s Soft Lounge collection, she’s emerging as a bona-fide fashion star. The launch photos, in which Coughlan dazzles in body-hugging dresses surrounded by an array of beautiful flowers, have gone viral.

Skims has had a huge year with some major milestones. The brand aired its first national commercial during the Oscars, reaching a big audience. It also became the official underwear sponsor for the NBA, WNBA and USA Basketball, making a mark in sports and ultimately killing it as a female-fronted brand.

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