No Farting Around: AI-Generated Drug Commercial Takes on Scourge of Flatulence

A few weeks ago, we reported on the hilarious Pepperoni Hugspot pizza commercial generated with AI tools, including ChatGPT for the script, Runway ML Gen-2 for the video clips, and ElevenLabs for the voiceover. Now, the author, who goes by the handle Pizza Later, is back with a commercial for a fictional medicine called FlatuLess, which does just what its name implies.

As with their last commercial, Pizza Later has generated the disparate elements in different programs and used Adobe After Effects to stitch them together. In addition, the creator told us via email that they used Red Giant VHS filter to give the video an old-school look.

The commercial introduces viewers to FlatuLess, “a drug special for no farts.” Along with images of AI-generated people living their best life (presumably after taking the drug), we’re treated to a melodramatic piano soundtrack and narration that’s written in very awkward grammar that sounds like it was translated from another language into English.

However, if you’ve ever used ChatGPT, Google Bard or any other AI chatbot, you might wonder, “Why did the bot write in broken English?” After all, most chatbots are really good at constructing grammatical sentences. They would never, by default, output something like “FlatuLess works inside your body guts, makes gas small and gives good-for-life confidence.” 

I asked Pizza Later about the awkward constructions, and they referred us to a friend who goes by the nickname DakisDead and helped by using Google Bard for scripting. Dak told us he deliberately engineered prompts to get these kinds of constructions.

“The AI is good at creating initial pass throughs with prompts such as ‘broken English’ or ‘add grammatical mistakes,'” Dak said. “Once reduced, a prompt like, ‘include definite articles,’ will render the output readable.”

Dak also told us that it took many tries to get output from the chatbot which was actually funny. For example, at the end of the video, the script refers to a doctor as a “medicine magician.” Dak said he used a prompt like “suggest 10 different replacements for the word ‘doctor,’ have them be silly,” to get that output.

Like in the original Pepperoni Hugspot commercial, the people shown in the FlatuLess ad look like they live in the heart of the uncanny valley. Many of them have awkward dead eyes or body parts that are in some way inconsistent with reality.

(Image credit: Future)

While we had a good chuckle watching this video (and hope you do too), there are some serious takeaways regarding the present state of AI. It’s clear that AI is good at generating music and an emotive human voice. It’s hard to say whether the script is “good” or not, because the human creators deliberately designed it to sound awkward.

However, one area where the AI can fool no one is in the text-to-video generation that’s used for the visual part of the commercial. For example, Pizza Later used Runway ML Gen-2, which is extremely impressive but generates clips that are just 4 or 5 seconds long and have awkward issues, such as objects blending into each other or malformed eyes and mouths on people. We tested Runway ML Gen-2 recently and were excited about its potential, but it won’t put real actors out of work anytime soon. 

For example, in this frame, it looks like the people, who are supposed to be lighting a campfire, are lighting themselves on fire.

FlatULess commercial

(Image credit: Future)

It’s also important to note that Pizza Later and Dak had to do a ton of human work to make the commercial. It required generating assets and a script from five different AI programs and stitching all those pieces together. There’s no way they would get something of this length and quality by telling a bot to “Make a funny commercial for a fart medication.”