United Kingdom – Despite the rising popularity of generative artificial intelligence (AI) models, it still generates an unrealistic view of everyday activities. In the specific topic of exercising, AI models generate images that depict unrealistic depictions of exercise benefits, often showing persons with extreme physiques.

In response to this, global sportswear brand ASICS has worked with creative agency GOLIN to launch an AI training programme to help teach AI that the real power of exercise is about transforming the mind.

The campaign tapped AI expert Omar Karim, to create the AI Training programme – a bank of images of real people enjoying exercise for the feeling, not aesthetics, combined with bespoke lines of code and AI prompts. Helping any AI system learn what exercise really looks like.

Moreover, ASICS is publicly calling on leading AI platforms to use the AI training programme to teach their AI tools what normal exercise looks and feels like – ending unrealistic and damaging depictions.

For Karim, while it is exciting that AI can be used in so many interesting ways, it is also extremely important that it’s taught to accurately represent the world and people around us. He added that as AI learns from years of content shared online, what we are looking at is today’s equivalent of airbrushing, only it’s being done automatically and without human judgement. 

“I’m really excited to be working with ASICS on this project and impressed by the action they’re taking. I hope this is just the start of brands looking to shape AI in a truly progressive way,” he said.

Alex Wood, executive creative director at Golin said, “AI’s warped understanding reflects what the online world teaches it – and us – about healthy exercise and bodies. Exercise elitism is everywhere, and it’s damaging. In response, we loved the idea of an exercise training program for something without a physical body – fuelled by more inclusive, happier and realistic exercise images. The results prove that the training program works – we now hope AI companies start using it to shape the future.”

Meanwhile, Gary Raucher, EVP for ASICS EMEA, commented, “At ASICS, we’ve always believed in the benefit of exercise, not just on the body, but also on the mind. And in today’s society, we know the uplifting power of exercise is needed more than ever. When we discovered that popular AI image-generating tools were creating unrealistic depictions of people who exercised, demotivating people to the point of exclusion from exercise, we were compelled to take action.”

The public has a key role to play too in this campaign as ASICS is inviting the public to share an image of themselves exercising on social with the hashtag #TrainingAI and tagging them on social media. After confirmation, each image will be added to the bank and used to train their AI. 

Singapore – Global sports brand ASICS has launched a regional campaign alongside creative agency MillStirling to communicate the theme of sports as a way to uplift minds. The campaign is rolled out across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, and Vietnam.

The campaign features athletes from the aforementioned countries, where they documented Aby Marano, volleyball captain of the Philippines’ national team; triathlon gold medalist Lam Quang Nhat from Vietnam; veteran marathoner Muhaizar Bin Mohamad from Malaysia; rising tennis star Kasidit Samrej from Thailand; and Chantalle Ng from Singapore.

Prior to the campaign’s release, MillStirling interviewed the athletes from each of the countries involved, in an attempt to discover their personal stories behind how the brand mantra ‘LiveUplifted’ as their mantra can influence their sporting performances and their outlook on life.

Daniel Wee, creative director at MillStirling, said, “Southeast Asia has a unique heartbeat, the sounds of the hustle and the bustle and the busy rush hour crowds can be somewhat overwhelming, All these distractions and stress, fades away to just the sounds of running footsteps, a tennis ball being hit, a volleyball being smashed, an aero bike gliding pass or your heavy breathing because you let sport uplift you. This is the heart of what our films want to tell audiences.”

ASICS appointed MillStirling as its creative agency in March this year to develop its 2022 regional brand campaign. The agency believes that the power of sport can uplift spirits, rejuvenate one’s mood and change our outlook on the world for the better. With this new campaign, they hope to remind audiences that sport goes beyond just a competition- it can inspire and transform each individual.