Ogilvy: Nestlé’s The Milkmaid

AI generated image the shows a scene beyond Vermeer's painting, the Milkmaid

Ogilvy: Nestlé’s The Milkmaid

Re-imagining the work of the old masters using AI

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Every detail of Vermeer's world-famous painting The Milkmaid has been studied by scientists for centuries, but on 8 September 2022 Rijksmuseum’s research team revealed new objects hidden in the painting using X-ray, propelling this masterpiece into the centre of conversation and media around the world.

But in France, Vermeer’s masterpiece shares its name with Nestlé's most famous yogurt: La Laitière, or The Milkmaid. This provided an opportunity for the brand to reveal even more about the product and the painting.

Within 24 hours, Ogilvy Paris used Al generator system DALL-E 2 (outpainting tools) to reveal scenes beyond the borders of the painting’s frame. Using prompts such as ‘a kitchen wall with copper pans and tools painted by Vermeer’ and through almost 1,000 iterations, Nestlé and the agency revealed to the world an extended version of The Milkmaid, imagined by AI.

Given the global buzz around the Rijksmuseum’s findings, the hero video showcasing the creation of the new painting with Al technology was simply posted on the brand's YouTube page. Despite having zero media budget, the content generated a lot of national and global interest. The video reached 15 million people, generated €700,000 of media value, and was covered in news segments by France’s major TV broadcasting network.