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Lay’s deepfakes elevate digital football fandom, a data-driven tool for sonic branding success and US consumers are voting with their wallets.

Lay’s Messi deepfake personalises football fandom

Messi Messages by Lay's

US & Global – Snack brand Lay’s is encouraging football fans to send personalised, interactive messages through a deepfake rendering of the footballer Lionel Messi.

As part of its global UEFA Champions League campaign, Lay’s is connecting with fans in a new way through its web app Messi Messages. On the site, users can send personalised video messages – within a set of pre-programmed prompts – to say the name of friends and family and invite them to watch a football match or play an online game. Using artificial intelligence (AI) and facial mapping, Messi’s lips appear to speak the user’s chosen words and language.

Available in 20 countries and 10 languages, the activation aims to create a more memorable experience for people connecting over sport. In this way, Lay’s is drawing on the potential of deepfake technology to create novel customer experiences that appeal to football fans.

Online activations, live-streaming and tokenisation are changing the ways that Digital Fandom operates – ushering in new methods of engaging with popular creators and personalities.

Whole Foods and Headspace tune in to mindful eating

Food for Mood by Whole Foods Market and Headspace, US Food for Mood by Whole Foods Market and Headspace, US
Food for Mood by Whole Foods Market and Headspace, US Food for Mood by Whole Foods Market and Headspace, US

US – Grocery retailer Whole Foods Market is partnering with meditation app Headspace to explore the impact of foods on physical and mental wellbeing.

The two companies are collaborating on a four-part recipe series, called Food for Mood, which will be shown on Whole Foods Market’s IGTV channel. The series is designed to educate and inspire people on the topic of mindfulness when grocery shopping, cooking and eating.

Headspace has created three complementary guided meditations to support the campaign, namely Joyful Shopping, Cooking with Gratitude, and Mindful Eating. ‘Mindful eating is so much more than just paying attention to our food – it encompasses finding joy and inspiration in our shopping, being present and intentional with our meal preparation, savouring what’s on our plate and developing a greater awareness of how it makes us feel or contributes to our wellbeing,’ explains Eve Lewis, content director at Headspace.

Food choices are becoming entwined with health motivations in a way that can alter our physical and psychological states, something we explore in our macrotrend Total Tastes.

A data-driven tool for optimal sonic branding

Sonic Branding Tool by MassiveMusic and SoundOut Sonic Branding Tool by MassiveMusic and SoundOut

UK – Creative agency MassiveMusic has teamed up with music testing service SoundOut to launch a sonic branding tool.

Known as MassiveBASS, it combines art and science to predict sonic distinctiveness and connection to a brand's personality. Using data from more than half a million consumers, the tool offers objective suggestions to marketers about sounds that best reflect and complement their brand.

To create MassiveBASS, the two companies mapped the emotional DNA of music, identifying sound assets that evoke different values in consumers, such as bold, disruptive or fun.

'Brands have traditionally looked at sound… as the benchmark rather than the brand’s own personality and archetypes,’ says David Courtier-Dutton, CEO of SoundOut. ‘This often results in a non-strategic and ineffective asset. MassiveBASS is a uniquely powerful tool that removes subjectivity.’

While many companies rely on generic sound branding, we recently spoke to Steve Milton, co-founder of sensory experience company Listen, who believes sound is the next frontier for branding.

Stat: US consumers are becoming more values-driven

Online Only Store by Amazon and Whole Foods Market, New York Online Only Store by Amazon and Whole Foods Market, New York

American consumers are changing their shopping habits to reflect more conscious mindsets, according to a survey by Shopkick.

A majority (68%) of US consumers say the pandemic has made them more conscious consumers. Some 39% actively research companies’ values and practices to ensure they align with their own personal beliefs, and 11% choose to support more BIPOC-owned businesses. Meanwhile, 65% of shoppers now support local or small businesses where possible.

This mindset shift is also resulting in many consumers becoming less loyal to brands they may have previously relied on. David Fisch, general manager of Shopkick, says: ‘It has become clear that this new retail reality requires keeping a much more frequent pulse on consumers’ needs and expectations, especially as brand loyalty continues to waver.’

As Moral Commerce reveals, consumers are increasingly making shopping decisions informed by their sociopolitical values.

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