AI in Marketing: 5 Ways that Deepfakes will actually bring good into the world

About 18 months ago, a frightening technology surfaced called deepfakes, which used video manipulation algorithms to convincingly edit videos of other people and literally put words right in their mouth. Marco Rubio described the technology as a propaganda weapon. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, told US senators deepfake videos could be banned by Facebook. Others warned that it was “one of the most serious threats that democracy faces”.

Amidst all the fervor and fright, nobody really gave this technology any chance to bring something good to the world. All press was bad press.

I’ll admit that I was caught up in the dangers of this technology and largely focused on the deepfake detection technology we must create in order to catch these media forgeries.

Overall, our collective shortsightedness caused us to gloss over the opportunities that this technology can bring the world. Thankfully, there was at least one company that didn’t fall into this shortsightedness.

A company called Synthesia is serving businesses and organizations the ability to use video manipulation technology to scale their video production needs. In a recent campaign, they took a video of David Beckham and used the video manipulation algorithms to make it convincingly look like David Beckham speaks nine different languages – all for the cause of the Malaria No More campaign:

Running with the inspiration the Synthesia team set forth, I’ve outlined five possible ways I could see deepfakes being used in the business and marketing setting to improve some of the processes that exist today.

Five Use Cases of Deepfake AI Tools in Marketing:

  • Entering New Markets: As seen in the Beckham ad, translating messages to any language will allow companies to more readily enter new markets and speak with their international business partners in their native tongue.
  • Delivering Message Variants to Fit Each Customer Demographic: Video marketing campaigns (commercials, ads, YouTube, etc…) are often scripted to blanket a company’s entire audience – but we know that a company’s customer base is generally comprised of many demographics. Now, the message of the videos can be easily crafted to resonate with each customer demographic and ultimately increase the conversions and engagement.
  • Building Audience Trust: Easily create personal, one-of-a-kind video reach outs to every individual follower or audience member. More on this topic here.
  • Responding to Crisis: When bad press comes to light of a given company, they could use this technology to quickly release a video statement (more compelling than a written statement) before the media spins the story in the wrong direction.
  • Instant Market Segmentation: Most companies already have large databases of customer data. Currently, this data is used to group alike people in market segments (also known as affinity groups). Messaging is then aligned around those market segments to speak to them in a way that most resonates. Deepfake could take this level of personalization to the next level by creating one-off videos that speak to each individual within the market segment – further eliminating any customer generalizations or affinity grouping.

There are of course going to be bad actors that use deepfake technology to cause mayhem. That’s a given with any technology. However, I think the opportunities for good actually outweigh the bad in this case.

For instance, one guy used video manipulation technology to finally propose to his wife in her native language. David Beckham is using it to promote a great cause. This executive used the technology to promote and gain interest in his event at Mobile World Conference.

Companies like Synthesia are going to make it easier and easier for savvy digital marketers and storytellers to do what they do best. Overall, I’m excited for deepfake and video manipulation technology.