Kohler Ad Explains Why the Robots of the Future Will Spend All Their Time in the Toilet

To be closer to their friends

En route to annihilating humanity, would robots take time out for a bathroom break? Apparently they would, if this amusing slice of high-tech potty humor from DDB Chicago, touting Kohler's Veil Intelligent Toilet, can be believed. 

At a futuristic housewarming party, humans and bots mingle … until the bots make like C3-Pee-O and head for the loo (for some urgent downloads, no doubt). The machines snap selfies with the cybernetic crapper, basking in the glow of its cobalt-blue LED nightlight. 

"The spot taps into the human truth that when at a party, people tend to congregate in the kitchen," Jean Batthany, executive creative director at DDB, tells AdFreak. "In this case, all guests robotic are drawn to the bathroom—where the real action is. There's also a layer of 'robot truth' in the shared social anxiety of trying to fit in and the relief in finding a kindred high-tech spirit."

The spot was directed in slick cinematic style by MJZ's Dante Ariola, Most of the automatons were represented by foam cutouts during the shoot for blocking, and brought to life in postproduction by effects house Jamm Visual. The humanoid couple was portrayed by flesh-and-blood actors, and the CG team matched their movements with bot-body imagery later on. (Wait until the the robot union hears about this!) 

"We are talking to the new sophisticate," Batthany says. "They are early adopters of technology and use design as a mode of self-expression. In a world where Siri and other lifelike technology is becoming more integrated into our daily lives, these bots help us tell a story of the very near future with a toilet as the star." 

In case you were wondering, Veil's functionality includes full or light flush settings, self-cleaning and automatic deodorizing systems, a heated seat with adjustable temperatures, and hands-free opening and closing of the seat and cover. 

About the only thing it doesn't do is sing "Bicycle Built for Two" (yet). But if the thing ever asks, "Just what do you think you are doing, Dave?"—it's time to get off the pot.


Client: Kohler

Agency: DDB Chicago

Chief Creative Officer: John Maxham

Executive Creative Director: Jean Batthany

Group Creative Director: Nathan Monteith

Creative Director (Art): Kurt Riemersma

Creative Director (Copy): Matt Ben Zeev

Chief Production Officer: Diane Jackson

Executive Producer: Debora den Iseger

Executive Art Producer: Suzanne Koller

Senior Print Producer: Carla Nieto

Senior Business Director: Jenn Nolden

Account Executive: Kate Karens

Account Manager: Kirby Summers

Production Manager: Scott Terry

Production Company: MJZ

President: David Zander

Senior Executive Producer: Eriks Krumins

Director: Dante Ariola

Line Producer: Natalie Hill

DP: Phillipe Le Sourd

Production Designer: Christopher Glass

Editorial: No6TV

Editor: Amanda Perry

Assistant editor: Danny Fogarty

Senior Producer: Kendra Desai

VFX: Jamm Visual

VFX Supervisor/Lead CG Lighter: Andy Boyd

VFX Supervisor/Lead Compositor: Jake Montgomery

Lead CG FX Artist: Zachary DiMaria

Flame Artist: Pat Munoz

Flame Artist: David Hernandez

Nuke Artist: Kenneth Brown

CG Artist: Nha Ca Chau

CG Artist: Huisoo Lee

CG Modeling: Aaron Hamman

CG Modeling: Joel Durham

Executive Producer: Asher Edwards

Producer: Ashley Greyson

Color: Company 3

Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld

Executive Producer: Rhubie Jovanov

Music House: PullPullPull

Composer: Mitch Davis

Executive Producer: Scott Brittingham

Audio Post: The Studio, Chicago

Sound engineer(s): Nicholas Papaleo

Sound assistant: Bobby Lord

Audio Post Producer: Stacey Simcik

Print Post production: Gianini

CGI Artist: Tim McMahon

CGI Artist: Sebastian Szyszka

CGI Artist: Jeffrey Gilles

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