Lay’s lets soccer fans gets up close and personal with Lionel Messi.
The chipmaker’s latest artificial intelligence-powered activation is part Lay’s global UEFA Champions League campaign and allows people to visit a special website, “Messi Messages”, to produce a custom video based on a series of text prompts to guide what the soccer star says, even if it’s in a language foreign to him. The site’s technology manipulates the movements of the star athlete’s lips and then syncs them with voiceover audio in real time to make it appear as though Messi is actually speaking. After the site generates the video, users can download the message and share it with others.
Lay’s futuristic new feature is another sign that brands are dipping their toes further into deepfakes to create unique and customizable marketing for the modern consumer. Despite the ethical concerns of deepfakes, mainstream brands including Mountain Dew, have been kicking the technique around throughout the pandemic. Additionally, instead of only tapping new and buzzy talent, brands have also been embracing beloved and familiar faces, from characters of The Office to late painter Bob Ross. Finally, Lay’s initiative reflects the growing consumer expectation for closeness with their favorite celebrities, as social media shrinks the walls of separation down, leading to the popularity of apps like Cameo and Clubhouse. This trio of trends might be just what the brand, which has banked an Average spot in Gartner’s ranking for years, needs to score a marketing goal.