Using Deepfake Technology in Advertising

Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Charity event is done and gone. Golf’s made-for-television event was the first live sports competition people could watch from home, since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

While the event itself was fun and the athletes did their best to hype the outing, the real story was some interesting uses of advertising by the sponsor Michelob Ultra, leading up to the match. We’re speaking to the use of what’s called “deepfake” technology. In case you’re not aware, deepfake is when algorithms are used to create images or videos of real people that are very fake. The output looks absolutely real in many cases.

Which leads to the golf matchup’s social promos on Twitter that combined a clip from Caddyshack and the voice and likeness of Peyton Manning, who was part of the event. The result is uncanny, jarring and slightly bewildering as you assemble pieces of the puzzle together and identify what you’re seeing and hearing. Deepfake technology was even used in a recent State Farm promo that lit Twitter on fire as people were confounded by what they were witnessing.

Beyond the event itself, using this kind of visual wizardry in marketing will be interesting to watch, both for the execution and for the response it will receive from people who aren’t aware of what’s happening.

The  question we pose is—are you okay with the inherent deception that could occur in this kind of effort?

  • SOURCE: Sports Illustrated
  • BRAND: Michelob Ultra / Capital One
  • WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT: The overwhelming feeling that you recognize what you’re looking at, but don’t understand what’s happening, makes you laugh nervously.