Deepfake, a Global Threat to Privacy, or a Golden Opportunity for Marketers?
Deepfake is the newest trend in technology that has startled the whole world since 2017. This technology enables the user to use machine learning and artificial intelligence to create synthetic media without the audience ever realizing that it’s synthetic. Using Deepfake, you can replace someone in an image or a video with someone else in already existing footage. This technology was famously used in the Netflix original movie The Irishman to de-age Robert De Niro and create a younger version of him for parts of the film.
There is a lot of stigma on the concept of Deepfake. This is mainly because of its use in several breaches of privacy. Since there is so much existing footage of celebrities and politicians on the Internet, these people are the primary victims of abusive Deepfake videos. Unfortunately, the law had not yet caught up with the technology, and there are no rules to prevent people from abusing the massive power of Deepfake.
This does not mean that it cannot be a great tool in the hands of honest and trustworthy businesses. Deepfake has already proved to be a fantastic new tool in marketers’ hands to increase customer interaction and increase sales to a considerable extent. Using Deepfake, companies can save large sums of money on their advertisement costs. These businesses can use a celebrity’s image and replace it with a video that’s already been recorded. They won’t need to pay a fortune to the celebrity to be present in person and shoot the video.
What can Deepfake do for marketing campaigns?
Electronic Word of Mouth (e-WOM)
Video advertising is expected to account for 48% of global advertising expenditure in 2021. These videos on TV and YouTube can have a significant impact on audience engagement and brand awareness. Deepfake allows advertisers to create more exciting and engaging videos. As a result, the audience is less inclined to skip the ads or change the channel when playing on TV.
This is a known fact that customers are more likely to click on an advertisement when they see a celebrity on it. Also, promotions can be made using scenes from well-known movies. This makes the ad infinitely more attractive for potential customers.
Deepfake applications can be designed and made for companies so that customers can insert themselves into the video. This can make a massive difference for fashion companies because it can allow customers to see themselves in the clothes they want to buy.
With the help of Deepfake technology, customers are enabled to see themselves on runway shows wearing the latest fashion. What’s more, Deepfake enables fashion houses to show their products with more skin tones, makeups, and hair colors.
Also, Deepfake helps retail companies create more relatable chatbots and customer support. People usually prefer to chat with someone with a human face rather than a faceless robot. Deepfake gives customer support chatbots a proper face; the AI used in them makes the conversation more human-like.
One of the most famous applications of Deepfake in marketing was David Beckham’s video in the campaign against Malaria. This campaign intended to increase awareness about the malaria pandemic in African and Asian countries. In this video, Beckham appears to be saying Malaria must die in nine different languages. The truth is, however, that Beckham only says the first English version. The rest of the media is synthesized using Deepfake technology.
The result was that more than 3 million dollars were raised for the fight against Malaria. Typically translating and dubbing a video is not the way to deal with advertisement videos. This is most often because the result is too impersonal and unnatural for the target language speakers. Before Deepfake, the alternative was to create an original video for every language the advert was intended to target.
Deepfake allows for the original video to remain the same, conveying the same message and treating the audience as equal no matter the language they are speaking. The reach to customers that might be gained by addressing them in their own language can be to a large extent greater.
Which startups have the most significant say in Deepfake?
Synthesia aims to create videos more out of codes than using a camera. This company uses AI to digitally create images and videos from already existing footage. With Synthesia, making a video can be accessible and user-friendly as sending an e-mail.
Using the Synthesia platform, you just have to follow a few simple steps to create your own video. First, you can choose a presenter from Synthesia’s list. Then, type in the text you want to be presented in the video. Synthesia will do the rest for you.
Synthesia is the very same company that worked with Ridley Scott and David Beckham to create the Malaria Must Die video. This company has also worked with Reuters to make the world’s first automated video report. Synthesia has also engaged with many companies to create video advertisements for various companies. The most famous example of these advertisements is Snoop Dogg’s appearance in JustEat promotions in Australia.
Rephrase.ai is another company that uses AI-generated videos in advertising. The steps you have to follow to generate a video with Rephrase.ai are similar to that of Synthesia. Rephrase.ai has worked with fortune 500 companies such as Amazon, Lowe’s Innovation Labs, and Bajaj Finserv to create video advertisements for them.
However, Rephrase.ai aims for the broader market of e-mail advertising. This company’s motto is “why send a text e-mail when you can send a video?” Targeting e-mail advertising specifically, you can add your contact list to your Rephrase.ai project so that a personalized video can be sent to each of them. This level of customer reach and engagement can make a massive difference in your advertisement campaign’s success.
ZAO is a Chinese company that has developed a free application as well. This application enables users to insert themselves into scenes from movies and TV shows. Since its introduction in 2019, this application quickly became the most downloaded free app in China. Although ZAO has entertainment applications only at the moment, the videos made using Deepfake technology can have many other applications as well.
Reface.ai is a Ukrainian company that has had great success since its foundation in 2020. The application made by this company was downloaded more than 70 million times in the first seven months of its release. The reason for this success is partially because of the high quality and speed with which it transforms your image and videos.
However, this application is not just for uploading your face as Jack Sparrow on Instagram and TikTok. The company has yet to explore great advertisement, media, marketing, and streaming applications.
Many companies are striving to prevent Deepfake videos from spreading. What’s more, several startups have created tools to distinguish real videos from Deepfake ones. All these measures are taken to stop people from abusing this great tool. On the other hand, the marketing applications of Deepfake are too much to be ignored or suppressed. Although Deepfake has not yet found its proper place among marketers, the wave is rolling, and there is next to nothing that can stop it from taking over marketing techniques in the near future.