By Amy Houston | Senior Reporter

April 6, 2023 | 6 min read

The drinks brand and Moulin Rouge director will be revealing the fruits of their ‘Saw This Made This’ creative call from last year.

Oscar-nominated director Baz Luhrmann partnered with Bombay Sapphire as creative director last year to inspire people from all walks of life to generate artwork inspired by the brand. Now, Natasha Curtin, global vice-president at Bombay Sapphire, is ready to take the campaign to the next level.

“We’ve been so thrilled with the response that we’ve had,” she says: “As a brand, we believe that you can see creative inspiration and beauty anywhere in the world.”

The team has received thousands of submissions, she says, noting just how differently people interpreted the brief. By viewing everyday surroundings as a gallery, the artworks spanned many disciplines – including photography, sculpture and printmaking. Each curated piece will soon be on show at the Design Museum in London and then tour to Chelsea Factory in New York, but everything will be available to peruse online using the campaign hashtag.

Appointing Luhrmann as creative director on this project was a dream for Bombay Sapphire. “He shared with us this belief that you can be creative, you just need to look at the world differently,” says Curtin. “He talks about it from his own upbringing, the humble upbringing in the outback of Australia where he’d look at the world from a petrol station on a dusty road, and he was able to create in his mind these wonderful worlds. He’s the perfect partner.”

Tim Marlow, the chief executive officer at the Design Museum, has also been an integral part of this process, putting the brand in touch with a contemporary artist called Ai-Da to partner on the two exhibitions. In a fun twist, he suggested the creative was actually a robot.

“She is the world’s first ultra-realistic artistic robot,” explains Curtin. “She will respond to all the thousands of submissions and will make a piece of AI art inspired by them. What’s really exciting is that people can continue to inspire her by submitting their artwork. We believe that this could be the world’s largest AI-inspired art piece.”

Ai-Da was devised in Oxford by Aidan Meller, built in Cornwall by Engineered Arts, programmed internationally and completed in 2019. Named after Ada Lovelace, who is considered the world’s first computer programmer, the bot made history with her first solo show at the Design Museum where she created self-portraits. At the time, questions were raised about how you paint a self-portrait with no self.

For Bombay Sapphire, this campaign is a look behind the curtain of AI art, a topic that has been hotly debated in recent times.

“We wanted to use AI to amplify and express, using it as our paintbrush just as photographers use cameras,” continues Curtin. “It’s a way of harnessing large creative participation and output. We’re using it as a tool but this is a celebration and showcase of human creativity.”

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It’s a creative experiment to see how the robot responds and uses the various artworks as inspiration, as the marketer puts it. “We don’t know what it will look like but it will be an interesting thing. This will be the first time that people will see a robot doing a piece of work live that they can influence, inspire and be part of it. It’s exciting.”

After the exhibition closes in the US in mid-May, the brand will continue to build on its successes. To coincide with the campaign there will be two limited editions of the Bombay Sapphire bottle label artworks, painted by Ai-Da Robot, which will be on display and available to purchase. Proceeds will benefit the Design Museum and its programs supporting emerging designers and creatives.

Interested in creative campaigns? Check out our Ad of the Day and the Best Ads of the Week sections.

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