A.I.'s Vision of a Top Creative Director Shows What's Wrong With the Industry

El Ojo festival shines a light on the gender gap

There's been a lot of debate lately about how advertising creatives might use A.I. to supercharge their process. But a recent stunt at an ad festival used A.I. to focus on something less forward-looking—the persistently backwards gender ratio among creatives at the highest level.

The stunt, devised by Dentsu Creative, was a keynote address at El Ojo de Iberoamérica, a major creative festival and award show in Latin America. The address was given by a man named Joao Totus—who turned out not to be a man at all, but an A.I.-generated figure created from the show's 362 winners from the last 25 years.

It was lost on no one that the figure appeared to be male. Which isn't surprising, given the 362 inputs turned out to be 294 men and only 68 women. (The results would surely be the same at any award show, not just in Latin America.)

El Ojo | Joao Totus

"With the organic result the process produced, an issue that had been discussed for some time, and that El Ojo has worked on for years, became irrefutable," says El Ojo founder and CEO Santiago Keller. "In line with the aims of the festival, we wanted to make a clear statement this year, with a strong call to action to help change things faster for the future of our industry. That is why Joao gave the opening Keynote, highlighting the situation and reaffirming El Ojo's commitments in this area." 

Those commitments have been expressed in four concrete actions, Keller added:

  • Better gender parity on juries, with 45 percent of jury presidents now being women
  • The +Mujere (+Women) award honoring female creative leaders and filmmakers
  • A strong representation of women and the diverstity theme in the conference and workshops
  • A 35% discount (reflecting the average global pay gap between men and women) on entries and conference tickets for independent agencies led by women with less than 50 employees

"This creative process has been one of our favorites to date," says Marisa González, managing director of Dentsu Creative Spain. "We have loved being part of this journey with Santiago and his team, to celebrate the high-quality creativity that we have in Ibero-America, while helping advance this purpose with creative work that helps change society for the better, and more accurately reflects what audiences want."

El Ojo de Iberoamérica was held Nov. 9-11 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


CLIENT AND CAMPAIGN: El Ojo de Iberoamérica – The first AI Creative.
CLIENT: Santiago Keller  Sarmiento – Founder and President El Ojo de Iberoamérica
CLIENT ACCOUNT MANAGER: Ana Carolina Degiuseppe – El Ojo de Iberoamérica
HEAD OF CRAFT: Luis María García
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Vicente Silvestre - The Royal Production Company
ZBRUSH & UNREAL METAHUMAN DESIGNER: Carlos F. Cuervo – Metahuman Designer
MOTION DESIGNER: Miguel Velacoracho
AI: Fabián Doñaque – Fabs Robotics
SOUND STUDIO: Fran Viedma – BlackOut Studios 

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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