AI Startup Perplexity Drops Faux Film Trailer as First Advert

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Perplexity, a generative synthetic intelligence startup with a $1 billion valuation and a big-swing mentality, launched its first paid advertising marketing campaign throughout tonight’s high-profile Nationwide Basketball Affiliation Finals.

The seven-figure media purchase—throughout a tentpole broadcast that pulls sizable audiences and blue-chip manufacturers—goals to plant Perplexity’s flag with mainstream America within the burgeoning tech house.

Whereas the location is noteworthy for a nascent firm, so is the inventive itself. 

The model, which is growing a search engine that goals to rival Google, has taken an unconventional path to introducing itself, dropping a movie-style trailer for an motion thriller that doesn’t exist. (However as a preview: It would sooner or later, as talks have began for potential TV sequence or full-length options primarily based on the idea.)

Perplexity chief enterprise officer Dmitry Shevelenko referred to as the advertising transfer “an asymmetrical guess.”

“If we take a bunch of straightforward photographs and never the threes, we’re not going to win this recreation,” Shevelenko, leaning into an apt basketball analogy, informed ADWEEK. “We’re swimming in a sea of giants—trillion greenback corporations—so we are able to’t simply tow in. We’ve got to be keen to be daring.”

The spot, referred to as “The Know-It Alls,” comes from Los Angeles-based indie company Sandwich. It borrows a method that’s well-known within the advert trade, with tweaks and an AI help, nodding to basic branded content material like BMW Movies and Mercedes-Benz’s “Fortunate Star.”

On-screen branding is deliberately gentle in “The Know-It Alls,” but Perplexity drives the narrative within the high-energy state of affairs. The video’s 30-second cutdown aired on ABC throughout the first quarter of recreation one of many NBA Finals, whereas the complete two-minute video can be distributed on Disney-owned streaming channels.

Tweaking a method

The kernel of the concept got here from the model and considered one of its unofficial slogans, “Know It All,” in line with Adam Lisagor, founding father of Sandwich.

“They mentioned, ‘We don’t wish to make an advert for Perplexity, we wish to make a trailer for a film that doesn’t exist—one thing about discovery, the place the characters subtly use our platform, however the model is barely current,’” Lisagor informed ADWEEK. “To which I mentioned, ‘The place have you ever been all my life?’”