FanDuel Creates Deepfake Charles Barkley for TV Ad
FanDuel has created a deepfake version of a young Charles Barkley to star in a series of new television ads alongside the present-day version of the former NBA player. Barkley and “Young Chuck” are promoting the sports betting platform and its new “Think Like a Player” campaign ahead of the NBA playoffs.
Young Chuck Deepfake
The first ad features Barkley showing how to use FanDuel and wishing he could bet on his favorite player, Young Chuck, who happens to be sitting next to him on the couch. After a fist bump, the 1990s edition of Barkley in his Phoenix Suns gear marvels over his future self’s new home and inquires about Barkley’s current age and if he can still dunk. The deepfake overlays Barkley’s digitally generated and de-aged face over a real actor’s body, though the voice seems to be the actor’s own rather than a synthetically generated voice. This is the first of several Young Chuck ads planned for the playoffs, culminating with the release of the final ad during the finals.
“We’re excited to tap into the energy of the NBA playoffs as well as the fanhood for Charles,” FanDuel executive vice president of marketing, Andrew Sneyd said. “This campaign will not only cement FanDuel’s place in the conversation of brands that are adding to the sports experience but continue to give us the opportunity to flex our creative muscle and demonstrate how we’re reaching our target audience in unique ways.”
The entertainment industry has begun to adopt deepfake technology at an accelerating clip. Synthetic media developer Metaphysic has taken the lead in films, de-aging Tom Hanks in his upcoming movie and partnering with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to create more generative AI tools. Meanwhile, the creators of South Park launched the deepfake AI studio Deep Voodoo, which raised $20 million earlier this year. , and deepfake media stars are the center of the new British show Deep Fake Neighbour Wars. Metaphysic also took fourth place in the most recent season of America’s Got Talent (AGT), ending with a performance by a synthetic Elvis Presley. And Barkley isn’t even the first to interact with his younger, deepfake self. Jimmy Kimmel interviewed a deepfake version of himself from 20 years ago to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his late-night show in February.