Deepfeck technology, which helps mimic speech and interactions using a person’s image, is notorious for its misuse in pop culture, as well as its use in misinformation and vengeful pornography. Synthetic media technology companies are also using it for innovative advertising – using it to create customized ads for some users, while others have brought celebrities face to face with their past. Companies that offer technology to brands have also emerged, bringing easy access to technology that relies on machine learning.
A recent ad posted on Pepsi India’s YouTube shows that brand ambassador Salman Khan is “traveling” from the 1994 film Hum Aapke Hai Kaun to meet his ex-soul. Apparently Little Love (Khan’s character in the film) when he sees Khan, he asks about his future and what is waiting for him in the coming days. When the Deepfake version of Love asks if he will eventually marry, Khan says in his signature style, “Hogai, what are all your girlfriends” (all your girlfriends are married), leaving a look of disbelief on Prem’s face. After a brief exchange on how everything is still the same, the ad then talks about the present day salmon aerated drink.
Meanwhile, a Bangalore-based startup called Rephrase.ai empowers brands to use technology for promotional campaigns, according to Rest of the World. Last year, Cadbury partnered with the startup, which created Dipfek Greetings for the Rakhi Festival. Actor Hrithik Roshan licensed his photo rights to Cadbury, allowing the company to create a system for users who bought a limited edition chocolate box to scan a QR code and enter a name to get a customized wish.
Former cricketer and national team captain Sachin Tendulkar was also part of a recent promotion by insurance company Aegis Federal Life Insurance, which recorded an 11-year-old version of Tendulkar and recorded a message about his future, telling him to be fearless. Tendulkar’s promotion is cut short as he is appearing today, telling his parents to be ready for the future without fear.
The lock screen content platform Glance also used the technology as part of its Harpal Happening Campaign in 2021, allowing the brand to create deepfake incarnations of historical figures like Akbar-Birbal and Laila-Majnu. According to a report, Glance saw an engagement rate of 3 million organic shares and 4 million clicks, while the promotion reached more than 31 million people.