Deepfake technology is changing the way people see digital marketing.
Though marketers are still in the early stages of experimenting with deepfakes and deepfake technology, these videos convey a more immersive marketing experience through storytelling.
Deepfake technology is a type of “deep learning.”
Deep learning is a machine learning type that allows computers to learn tasks independently without being explicitly programmed.
Deepfake technology also involves computer vision, allowing computers to recognize objects in images.
For example, computer vision uses deep learning algorithms to identify objects in photos or videos. So it can tell you whether there’s a dog in your photo or not!
In addition to computer vision and deep learning technologies, the creation process for deepfakes involves image synthesis:
- Taking one image (like someone holding up an American flag).
- Combining it with another image (a person holding up an Australian flag).
- And creating something new from these two components (a person holding up both flags).
If the concept of deepfakes is still hard to grasp, here are examples of deepfake videos that have circled the web:
- Carrie Fisher’s performance in Star Wars: Rogue One was possible with deepfake technology.
- A deepfake of Salvador Dali was used to host the Dali Museum in Florida.
- Deepfake technology allowed us to experience a speech JFK never got to make.
This type of technology is beneficial for marketers in three ways:
- First, it can lower the cost of video campaigns.
- Second, it can create better omnichannel campaigns.
- Third, it can provide a hyper-personalized experience for the customer.
Marketers can save money on video campaigns using deepfakes because in-person actors are unnecessary.
Instead, they can purchase a license for an actor’s identity, use previous digital recordings, insert the appropriate dialogue and create a new video.
This process also saves time for businesses that want to use their employees for ads.
So, for example, if a CEO doesn’t have time to record a new ad, marketers only need a few previous recordings to create a new campaign.
Additionally, when creating a deepfake, there’s no need to reshoot the footage.
This is particularly useful for marketers on a tight budget who still want to produce high-quality content for their campaigns.
Better Omni Channel Campaigns
Since deepfakes don’t need in-person actors, marketers can easily repurpose content for numerous marketing channels with less time and money.
Instead of reshooting the campaign to accommodate different media, marketers can edit the video cuts to create a social campaign.
Or, they can create new synthetic dialogue to create a podcast or radio ad.
This technology has led to an increase in hyper-personalization.
Brands can provide more relevant messaging and experiences for individual customers based on their personal preferences — such as the color of their skin.
Say a customer was a different ethnicity than a brand’s model for marketing.
Deepfake technology can change the skin tone of that model so the customer can experience what the product would look like on their skin tone.
This process helps brands increase inclusivity and reach a broader market.
Also, if a video is needed in multiple languages, deepfake technology can help.
Marketing messages can be personalized by location at the push of a button.
Unfortunately, deepfake videos have been used for more nefarious purposes.
For marketers, this can mean fake customer complaints, fake product reviews, and an overall decrease in customer trust.
Lack Of Trust
The most apparent impact of deepfakes is that they are used to create fake videos, which means that verifying the authenticity of any given video becomes more challenging.
Even if you could tell for sure whether or not someone’s image was actual or not before viewing a video, it is still impossible for anyone who didn’t know the person personally.
For marketers, using deepfake videos could violate ethics if consumers feel manipulated by the campaign.
For example, if marketers use deepfakes to create fake positive reviews, that practice would be considered unethical.
On the other hand, if marketers use deepfakes to further a brand’s storytelling, that could be regarded as ethical.
Increase In Scams
Deepfake technology could increase potential scams, such as creating false accusations against companies.
These videos are made by taking recordings of actual incidents and changing the audio with new dialogue to make it seem like something that it isn’t.
For example, a German energy firm’s U.K. subsidiary handed over nearly $250,000 to a Hungarian bank account after a scammer used deepfake technology to mimic the CEO’s voice.
In addition, manufacturers can use this type of deepfake technology to create fake customer testimonials or product reviews that make their products appear more appealing than they are.
How Marketers Can Use Deepfakes In Their Campaigns
Despite the unfortunate ways people use deepfakes, marketers can make their campaigns come to life quickly with this technology.
Imagine booking one of the top influencers for a campaign.
You only need a bank of digital footage instead of requiring them to shoot a video for hours.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning do the rest.
Or, you could use historical influencers, such as Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn.
Since there are a plethora of video and voice recordings of them, marketers can use their likeness in a deepfake to boost their campaign.
To stand out against the crowd, brands can use deepfakes to immerse the consumer into a shopping experience.
For example, ecommerce stores can superimpose a shopper’s face onto a model’s body to see how the clothes look.
Nostalgic Ad Campaigns
State Farm created one famous example of deepfake technology.
The insurance company created an ad for the series The Last Dance by superimposing 1998 Sportscenter footage to make it look like Kenny Mayne predicted the documentary.
This deepfake was made purely for entertainment and created nostalgia with viewers that remember that iconic time for the Chicago Bulls basketball team.
Product demos could become experiential for customers.
Instead of using the same b-roll for all clients, marketers could create personalized demos that show the actual client using their product. It can’t get more personal than that, can it?
This technology is here to stay, and it will continue to evolve.
In the digital marketing space, deepfake technology has both advantages and disadvantages.
While there are ethical implications, deepfake videos allow brands to stretch their marketing budgets and reach new audiences.
As long as marketers avoid making campaigns with malicious intent, deepfakes can help both the brand and the consumer by creating a more personalized, immersive experience.
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