Lexus launches emotionally intelligent ad to promote the Lexus ES Self-Charging Hybrid

Luxury car brand Lexus has launched what it describes as an “emotionally intelligent advertisement” to promote the new Lexus ES Self-Charging Hybrid. Developed with agency network, The&Partnership, the ‘Feel Your Best’ campaign uses facial recognition, and is designed to read, adapt to and impact viewers’ emotions while they’re watching.

The ad employs facial recognition technology from MorphCast to adapt the content in real-time. Using the viewer’s camera, the ‘Emotional AI’ tech can read facial expressions. As the viewer engages with the AI, the ad responds accordingly with visual and musical changes to the content depending on the viewer’s perceived emotional state. The edit picks up or slows in pace, music gets more exciting or calm, colours become more or less vibrant, and montages with ‘emotion sequences’ are introduced. While watching, the viewer has full freedom to experiment with the reaction content they receive via the AI by changing facial expressions, and the AI will adapt and react instantly. Each ‘scan point’ along the storyline triggers a different edit from the AI, combining campaign material and hand-selected footage approved by a panel of psychologists.

Led by emotion-based design specialist Professor Mohammad Soleymani, whose research involves developing automatic emotion recognition and behaviour understanding methods using psychological signals and facial expressions, the panel helped develop and hone the audio-visual content designed specifically to elicit an emotional response from viewers. The panel also includes Germany-based colour psychologist Prof. Dr. Axel Buether and Sonic Alchemist Steve Keller, who is a leading expert in the impact of sound on human emotion.  

“We’re excited to share this innovative experience with audiences worldwide.” said Spiros Fotinos, Head of Lexus Europe. “As consumers are seeking more personalized experiences from brands, we wanted to explore the usage of AI to make advertising that responds to the viewer. It’s a first step to show how small, real-time changes to the ad can have a positive impact on how you feel. This logic is also present in the Lexus ES which provides exceptional levels of comfort by controlling a series of sensorial factors. So there is a natural synergy between product and campaign – the advert responds to the viewer’s emotions just as the car responds to the driver’s behaviour and needs.”

You can see the ad here.