Using Deceptive Editing – in all the Right Ways

| By Kaylan Bradley

As technology continues to shape the landscape of marketing, its potential to drive positive change becomes increasingly apparent. Visual effects (VFX) and artificial intelligence (AI) have emerged as powerful tools that not only captivate audiences but can also communicate meaningful messages. 

The recent viral commercial for the France Women’s National Soccer Team is a great example of how these technologies can be used not just to promote a brand but to convey a profound message.

The Viral Commercial

The two-minute ad from the French telecommunications company Orange starts off with a compilation of soccer highlights featuring some of the French men’s team stars. Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and others are showcasing some fancy footwork and goals. You see this all take place while hearing the cheers and reactions from the fans and commentators. But then comes the twist. The footage rewinds and the VFX editing process is revealed, showing the action was actually from Sakina Karchaoui, Selma Bacha, and other leading players on the French women’s team.

The campaign aimed to challenge people’s perceptions of women’s soccer, which has often been described as less exciting and has long fallen short of the international popularity behind men’s soccer.

The Role of VFX

With AI creations, deepfakes, and digitally manipulated content all becoming ever more difficult to identify, there are plenty of examples of unsuspecting viewers being negatively misled. However, this commercial shows the positive impact of technology in marketing when used for a greater purpose.

The French media agency Marcel produced the ad and used frame-by-frame VFX. More specifically, Flame and Adobe After Effects were used heavily to create the final product. It took almost five months and more than twenty people to make all the edits, like muscle proportions, arm sizes, and clothing adjustments.

 The Bigger Message

It goes without saying there is a fear of the unknown with new advancing technology. Editing images, audio and video content has become so mainstream that one cannot always trust what is being viewed. Using AI, it is relatively easy to add Tom Cruise to all films or make a politician say anything on video. On social media, fake news videos are easily spread while claiming to be genuine.

The France Women’s National Soccer Team commercial stands as a remarkable example of using technology with positive outcomes in mind. Not only does it draw viewers in, but it brings attention on a global stage to the high quality of women’s sports – changing misperceptions along the way.

The ad has close to 5 million views on YouTube and thousands more on social media platforms like Instagram, X (Twitter), and TikTok, resonating with viewers during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament, which kicked off on July 20th.

If you find yourself challenged by effectively using emerging technology, lean on a professional partner like Reuben Rink. Contact us today.


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