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OBI CEO Mary Ann O’Brien Speaks to Ad Age on Super Bowl AI Ad Confusion

Super Bowl LVIII shattered records this year with over 123.4 million viewers according to CBS. With that many viewers watching the big game- some of the ads were bound to cause a stir.  

As Ad Age highlights, the “He Gets Us” campaign caused confusion with its Artificial Intelligence (AI) feel. It turns out the ad wasn’t AI-generated.  

The ad entitled “Foot Washing” featured still photos taken by Julia Fullerton-Batten of people with differing views and backgrounds washing each other’s feet- a nod to Jesus washing his disciples’ feet during the Last Supper.  

The style in which the photographs appeared likely caused the skepticism according to OBI Founder and CEO Mary Ann O’Brien. O’Brien told Ad Age there were similarities between the way the photos were shot and the overall aesthetic of AI-generated content. “The images’ over-produced look and heightened color ratios match the content that AI bots typically output,” said O’Brien. 

O’Brien warns AI is now part of daily life but can cause some consumers to feel uneasy. “The viewers negative reaction shows the potential [of AI] to erode consumer trust in brands if they feel misled or manipulated in any way,” O’Brien said to Ad Age Reporter Asa Hiken.  

O’Brien says mistrust can be prevented if brands are upfront and transparent about when they use Artificial Intelligence.  

To read more on what O’Brien has to say about brands using AI be sure to read the full Ad Age article here.