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BY Imran Fazal

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Q] What was the idea behind using deep fake technology for the #FutureFearless film?

Our brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar is highly respected, and there is a certain persona about him. One of the things that came up during my discussion with the agency, VMLY&R, is that we have to do something different in how we present Sachin. At Ageas Federal, we focus on why one needs to buy insurance to secure the future of a child. While trying to figure out how to present Sachin in a completely different avatar, the agency suggested that we will use artificial intelligence, and deep fake technology to create an imagery of Sachin as a child. So, our video is of an 11 year old Sachin Tendulkar saying that he is prepared for the future, and not the least worried. 

Q] Do you think deep fake technology is the new trend for amplifying the persona of both the celebrity and the brand he/she promotes?

Deep fake technology gives you an option of telling a story beautifully. In advertising, what matters is how effectively you’re able to tell an engaging story in a very short time. So deep fake technology becomes a beautiful tool in the hands of creative people. To recreate a young image of Sachin’s face, voice, and de-ageing him by 38 years is phenomenal in terms of the technological advancement.  Deep fake technology is a double edged sword. But one can use it constructively and positively to tell a very good constructive story.

Q] What was the marketing mix of the campaign, and what ad spends were dedicated to #FutureFearless film?

As an organization, we are Digital focused, as it is our primary medium of communication. So we have leveraged Digital, be it the social media handles, various websites that we have identified that carry quality content on the IPL and cricket in general. We have amplified the campaign heavily on a lot of the news sites, websites which talk about cricket, and general news as well. These websites have very high traffic. Also we have identified some 776 digital screens at various corporate towers across cities. We have spent anything upwards of Rs 70 lakhs, which includes production and total spends. 

Q] Recently, Pepsi used deep fake technology to create a younger image of actor Salman Khan. Did the creators take inspiration from the ad?

The discussion on wanting to create a completely new imagery of Sachin started in August-September last year. Deep fake tech takes a lot of time to create, and we had very limited audio and video footage of Sachin. So, it took us almost three months to create this video. Since the idea was born six months back, I would say at that point in time it was a unique and innovative idea. There was nothing that inspired us, except the thought of presenting Sachin in a completely different avatar.

Q] When we talk about the BFSI sector, what changes have you seen recently in the market?

Earlier when we used to tell people that uncertainty exists and anything can happen anytime, people viewed it as a sales pitch. But the way COVID came and hit us in 2020 took the whole world by storm. That is when people realized that uncertainty is not a sales pitch. It is a reality and a fact. Therefore, people have shown a lot of interest towards insurance, life insurance, health insurance, and for the sector. Purely from a sector point of view, it has been good.

Q] But do you think that majority of Indians don’t have the maturity to plan or manage finances?

India is an evolving market, and as of now we are not as mature as we should be. Maybe because there is not enough awareness about life insurance, and the benefits of life insurance, and how a small premium can give you a large financial net, security net. Also, people don’t want to talk about life insurance, because life insurance is mostly about death. As far as awareness is concerned, there is much more to be done.

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