Personalized Synthetic Advertising

video, speculative scenario, essay, 2020

This project presents a speculative scenario for the future use of synthetic media in personalized advertising. Imagine a future when it is not the faces of actors that speak to you in advertisements, but the faces of your loved ones. Technology enabling automated face swapping and synthetic video generation (deepfakes) would enable just such a scenario in the future.

video presenting the speculative scenario
This concept flips the currently popular method of using deepfakes, where the face of known celebrities is transferred to a video recording with unknown persons, vice versa. It takes the face of an unknown person and applies it to a video with a professional actor, creating a personalized version of a commercial for a specific person. The scenario speculates on the use of direct webcam input in a video call as the basis for deepfake generation, which is applied to a personalized commercial (yes, in this scenario, free video calls are interrupted by commercials).

A full description of the generation of this deepfake is described in the essay so that the process can be understood by a lay audience. The project was published in a themed edition of an online reader focused on deepfakes by the Dutch platform The HMM and presented during an online lecture.

Personalized Synthetic Advertising (2020)

comissioned by The HMM - Platform for internet cultures

- featured in The HMM’s Dossier on Deepfakes: “A future scenario for deepfakes: personalised synthetic advertising”

- Medium article: