Wonka Event Advertised with AI Pics Ends in Viral Fiasco


If you’re active on the Internet, particularly social media, you might have already seen this but it’s a story about a viral disaster that involves AI-generated imagery that failed to live up to its promise.

person holding a candy pack on white plastic box
Person holding a candy pack on white plastic box. Photo by Vinicius “amnx” Amano

There’s a new Willy Wonka film coming out and, per marketing tradition, it has all sorts of promotional events tied to it. This isn’t one of those events.

One “unofficial” event in the United Kingdom was lavishly advertised using bright, colorful dreamscapes of gigantic pieces of candy and the like. Resembling the child of a Lisa Frank notebook and Cadbury’s, the wild images didn’t really look like anything explicitly Willy Wonka but they sure did look amazing, especially if your goal was to advertise to kids and their families.

Well, shockingly, the ads (created by artificial intelligence) didn’t even come close to showing what was actually on offer. The event was so bad, in fact, that attendees called the police on the organizers.

Of course, from our perspective, this was bound to happen eventually, particularly since so many organizations seem eager to put everyone out of work in favor of artificial intelligence. One only needs ask the deep philosophical question “Could a photographer ever make this error?”

And the answer is “Not without a lot of effort,” effort, we might add, that would border on performance art rather than photography (as is arguably the case here).

Maybe it’s good to have humans doing these kinds of things. You know, the old traditional photo shoot with the cast, etc.? Then again, there is also the whole “unofficial” tag and the ancient adage “caveat emptor” or “buyer beware.”

You can check out some of the photos from the now-canceled event over on Ars Technica.

In the meantime, we can marvel at this event and take it as a bit of a warning as to what can happen when someone is so detached from a project that AI does this.

Any thoughts you might have on AI used for advertising are welcome in the comments below.

We have some other news for you to read at this link right here.

About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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