Hyundai Test Drives AI In ‘2 Million Cars Celebration’ Campaign

Celebrating Hyundai’s two millionth car with a campaign and giveaway promotion, Heckler has worked up some AI magic to showcase the brand’s evolution since the late 80’s via creative agency Innocean Australia.

Generating excitement by showcasing Hyundai’s history, the agency brief was to demonstrate how far the car brand has come by taking a drive down memory lane to review all the diverse models released over the years.

Innocean had a three-to-four-week deadline to turn the campaign around and needed a visually arresting creative solution that would get results fast. In steps AI.

Heckler head of design Adrien Girault explains: “The biggest challenge of the brief was coming up with a fast and efficient way to produce hundreds of specific brand/model of car photos from as far back as the 1980’s, and from scratch.

“This is where I put forward using an AI-based image generation tool as a solution. I had recently been experimenting with Midjourney and was amazed at the level of realism it was producing, especially when it came to generating cars.”


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Girault says AI image generation tools such as Midjourney and Dall-e are impressive in that they continue to get better with every update. However, he warns they are by no means a one-click solution, or neither are they a replacement for any member of the team.

“From more than 4,000 images rendered overall, we were only able to use four hundred or so. And, virtually all of those selects had to have additional composition or retouching work done to them.

“These new AI tools are only as good as the data sets that they are fed with. So, for example, if you’re looking for a real-world element dating back from the 80’s or something that is just not popular enough to be found extensively on the internet, then AI is only going to have a smaller number of references to work with and therefore will be more likely to render something that is less accurate.”

Heckler producer Steven Marolho said the job was only made possible due to the trust and team spirit shared between the studio and its agency client.

Marolho explains: “Utilising new technology at this level is like having a totally open kitchen, but you’re cooking a meal for the first time with your team and clients, so our success came down to the trust and support we all had for each other. Stress testing what the AI application could do in response to expectations while in production, we really had to understand the limits and work through to find a solution quickly. It was a true sense of trial and error.

“Innocean was open to helping us solve problems and that was crucial. It was by the hour developments, working at pace together. We really wanted to deliver for our client in a can-do mode and it definitely wasn’t AI for AI’s sake; it really was just the tool to get the job done. AI driven tools are a new crew member similar to a designer, colourist, or a visual effects artist, and we shouldn’t be afraid to use them.”

Campaign Credits:

Client: Hyundai Australia

Agency: Innocean Australia

VFX: Heckler 
Director: Adrien Girault
Executive Producer: Will Alexander 

Producer: Steven Marolho

AI Fixers: Jordan Sykes, Maud Chapuis & Keara Levett 

Compositor: Ran Xie

Edit/Colourist: Scott Sterling

Edit: Daniel Page
I/O: Liam McConville

Music & Sound: Heckler Sound
Creative Director: Johnny Green
Executive Producer: Bonnie Law
Original Music: Heckler Sound
Head of Sound: Dave Robertson