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Lay’s 'Messi Messages' – With Great Power Comes Great Opportunity

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180 Amsterdam CCO Kalle Hellzen reflects on working with Synthesia and UNIT9 to bring this project to life

Lay’s 'Messi Messages' – With Great Power Comes Great Opportunity

Your phone buzzes and it’s a message from Leo Messi, inviting you to watch the match with your mate. Sound surreal? Well this week it was a reality as we launched our new work for Lay’s. Titled ‘Messi Messages,’ the campaign uses first-of-its-kind AI technology to allow you to send personalised messages to your friends from one of the greatest footballers in the world. 

The project has been an intensive labour of creative and technical love - working closely with the global Lay’s brand team and technology partners at Synthesia and UNIT9 to bring the project to life. 

‘Messi Messages’ is an example of a campaign offering real value – for both the brand and the fan. By providing a novel application of technology, the campaign not only makes the invitation to connect more valuable and personal, but enables brands to access a largely inaccessible arena: dark social. 

‘Synthetic media’ is a relatively new development in artificial intelligence: and it is a new frontier for brands, allowing them to create personalised messages from iconic figures and connecting with audiences with a level of intimacy usually reserved for in-person events or Cameo interactions. Watch this space: the licensing of digital personas is predicted to become big business.

The Peter Parker principle teaches that ‘with great power comes great responsibility'. But with great power also comes great opportunity – and this is where a new chapter of brand experience becomes real. Hopefully positive examples of this technology from brands will bolster its credibility for not only other advertising but other applications and experiences, from educational resources to medical training. 

It's been an intense journey bringing ‘Messi Messages’ to market but worth it when we see the international impact: with the use of AI and machine learning to manipulate visual and audio content, the GOAT becomes a polyglot, speaking in 10 different languages to audiences in over 20 countries. Fans across the globe can feel like the greatest football player in the world is talking to them directly, without the dislocation of translation. 

‘Messi Messages’ is a synthetic digital experience which generates real connection – and, used for good, is a true example of how innovation can enable greater reach, greater relatability, and ultimately, greater connection.  


Kalle Hellzen is chief creative officer of 180 Amsterdam

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Categories: Food, Savoury Snacks

180 Amsterdam, Tue, 23 Mar 2021 15:27:18 GMT