The new creative standard

How Analogue used generative AI to create Suitsupply's campaign

How Analogue used generative AI to create Suitsupply's campaign

Alexine Maurin

8 minute read23 Nov 2023

Analogue, the innovative design agency from Amsterdam, is quietly making waves in the ecommerce world with their unique AI-driven approach.

At the recent D2C Summit, Julian Mollema, the founder and creative mind behind Analogue, together with Johann Schnettker, their senior designer, shared insights into their creative process. They showcased how their imaginative use of AI has added a fresh twist to ecommerce campaigns, particularly with their recent work for the fashion brand, Suitsupply.

Crafting stories that resonate

Storytelling sits at the core of every creative choice Analogue makes. And for the Suitsupply campaign, they brought this core principle to the forefront, except they pushed it even further this time, taking it a step beyond their usual approach. So, why this extra step? Julian Mollema pointed out in his talk that 95% of consumer behavior is driven by emotions. He emphasized that in today's world of quick browsing and fast scrolling, it's not just the product that matters but the emotional world it creates. At Ask Phill, we couldn't agree more with that. We do not want to brag again about the theme of our D2C summit this year, but it's worth repeating: people buy stories, not products. 

Analogue got this right with Suitsupply. But why use artificial intelligence to connect deeply with human emotions, you will ask? Doesn't it feel a bit counterintuitive? 

It's a valid question. And no, it's not just about cutting costs or getting some buzz on X. There's more to it. With the proper use of AI, you can delve even deeper into human emotions. Analogue demonstrates that AI isn't just a tool; it's a catalyst for creativity. It's a dream weaver that can take concepts to new, more imaginative depths. So, how did Analogue pull it off for the Suitsupply campaign? How did they use AI to craft a world around their campaign that exudes style and fantasy?

AI as a creative (r)evolution

Let's dive into how Analogue brought their innovative vision to life for Suitsupply. Their approach was a meticulous blend of creativity and technology.

The process began with an often underestimated yet crucial step: brainstorming. The team at Analogue gathered a range of imaginative and eccentric ideas. Picture models doing backflips over cars or lounging with gigantic, fluffy animals. This creative groundwork laid the foundation for what was to come.

Enter MidJourney, the AI tool that transformed these imaginative concepts into visual reality. Analogue’s team crafted detailed prompts, such as: “close-up photo of a gigantic furry soft camel running and jumping with many Suitsupply models in a Kelly Wearstler interior, bright daylight and godrays Portra 400 dramatic photographic style.” And these prompts aren’t random. It actually takes hours to fine-tune them to perfectly capture the desired style and lighting, especially when you want all the different campaign photos to be cohesive.

They had their concept images ready, complete with the desired backdrops, but the crucial element was still missing: real models wearing actual Suitsupply suits. This called for a real-life photoshoot, but not just any photoshoot. The challenge was to seamlessly integrate these suits into the AI-generated scenes.

Here’s where Analogue’s expertise shone. They meticulously analyzed the AI-generated images using tools like fSpy to understand the angles, perspectives, and lighting conditions represented. In the studio, they captured the models wearing Suitsupply in action, with lighting and angles that matched the AI-generated backdrops. This step was crucial, so when these photos were placed into the AI scenes later, they looked as if they were always meant to be there.

As you can imagine, the final stage involved extensive Photoshop wizardry. They had to include the models' photos in the AI-generated backdrops. It required careful blending and layer-by-layer adjustments to achieve a harmonious and realistic composition.

The result was a set of 12 campaign photos that seamlessly combined real models in Suitsupply suits with extraordinary elements—like a model hugging an enormous alpaca in the desert, another sitting on a goat in the Alps, or some of them right next to space-age cars or helicopters—all set against the imaginative backdrops created by AI. Voilà!

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Translating vision into reality for your brand

Analogue's approach with Suitsupply opens up a world of possibilities for using AI in brand campaigns. As they demonstrated in their talk, there are essentially three ways to harness AI's potential:

1. Full AI for campaigns: This method works best when it's not necessary to showcase the actual product directly. For instance, a beauty brand might use full AI to depict the use of their product without needing to show the actual packaging. It's about creating an imaginative setting around the product, enriching the narrative without direct product visuals. 

2. Hybrid approach (as used in the Suitsupply Campaign): In this approach, AI-generated images are merged with real-life elements. Analogue applied this for Suitsupply by using AI for conceptual backdrops and integrating them with real photos of models wearing the brand's clothing. This method balances the imaginative possibilities of AI with the tangible authenticity of actual products.

3. AI for concepting: This is about using AI as a brainstorming tool to generate initial concepts and visual styles. It’s great for exploring creative ideas quickly and efficiently. For example, Analogue used AI to conceptualize point-of-sale ideas, like showcasing sea containers in mountain settings for a unique shopping experience.

These methods demonstrate AI's versatility in the creative process. For brands like Suitsupply, AI is not just about efficiency; it's a critical component in crafting compelling narratives and pushing creative limits in brand storytelling.

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Key Takeaways

  • Know your references to fuel AI's creative fire: Analogue's success with Suitsupply campaign teaches us the power of specificity. The more artistic, historical, or diverse your references, the more nuanced and powerful your AI-generated narratives can be. Your AI creations will only be as rich as the cultural soil you cultivate.
  • Embrace uncertainty, master adaptation: For us, this talk was a reminder that, in a world where change is the only constant, the ability to pivot and learn on the fly becomes crucial. Embrace uncertainty, master the art of adaptation, and let your way of working evolve.

If you want the full details on how they brought this campaign to life, watch the complete talk below. Also, if you're curious to see another exciting project we worked on with Analogue—check out this article.

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