Brazil – Volkswagen’s short film celebrating its 70th anniversary in Brazil went viral overnight in July 2023 for featuring singers Maria Rita and her late mother, Elis Regina, singing together while driving.
Creative agency AlmapBBDO and production company Boiler Filmes brought Regina’s face and voice to life using deepfake and AI technology. The pop singer died in 1981 when her daughter Maria Rita was only three years old. Both are re-united thanks to technology in the promotional film showing Rita driving the ID Buzz – the 100% electric version of the firm’s signature Kombi – and her mother Elis driving a classic Volkswagen model.
‘The campaign uses sophisticated technology for a very human purpose: emotion,’ says Marco Giannelli, also known as Pernill, the chief creative officer of AlmapBBDO. ‘We are promoting an unprecedented duet that was only possible in the imagination and that now becomes absolutely real during the two-minute film.’
The campaign hints at new opportunities for a tech-powered funeral industry that we previously analysed in our Digital Afterlife Market report. AlmapBBDO also perfectly embraced the elasticity required from creative agencies to use AI as a way to create even more meaningful connections and emotions between brands and consumers.
Volkswagen proves that artificial intelligence and nostalgia aren’t necessarily incompatible – for future content, how can your brand augment a nostalgic figure, song, event or aesthetic and turn it into a warm embrace powered by tech?