It was Thursday 9 September in a former mailroom in an old factory in Maarssen, when about seventy marketers gathered to listen to the energetic effectiveness talk by Bart Massa and Jelmer Wit of research agency Validators. Not your avarage research guys, but eloquent experts who know everything there is to know about brand growth and the road to it. Especially for this session, they used deepfake to replace the face of Herman den Blijker in a Hak commercial with that of the fictitious person Hakkan. This is to show how important the role of a regular (well-known) person can be as a Distinctive Brand Asset.

Creation determines 60% success of campaign
Creation is key when it comes to brand building. After all, 60% of the effect of campaigns is determined by the creation. Consistency is the catalyst here. Brand growth is also achieved by building strong associations with a brand in the minds of consumers, according to the Associative Network Theory (Kelly Vaughan, Measuring advertising's effect on mental availability (2020)). Powerful communication makes this possible.

99.9% of the time people do not give a shit about your brand'.

- Adam Ferrier, 2018 -

As Adam Ferrier (source: The Advertising Effect: How to Change Behaviour) said, people are not very concerned with brands. But with quality creations and consistency, you make a good start. The human brain is lazy, and certainly not preoccupied with advertising. The power of repetition is that the brand cue is told in a consistent way. What is needed next are Distinctive Brand Assets (DBAs). The clever use of DBAs can break through the task-oriented behaviour of consumers. They ensure that consumers are suddenly and unconsciously engaged with your brand. This helps to strengthen associations.

Does a known person add value?
An important DBA is the famous person. To measure the added value of a famous person in your commercial, Validators made a number of adjustments with deepfake. Both commercials were tested monadically with the neurotool EmotionFlow, which measures emotions of viewers through a combination of FacialCoding and AI and in a commercial break, just like in reality on TV.

An important predictor of the extent to which a campaign is remembered are positive emotions. The better these are interwoven in the commercial, the more dopamine is produced in the brain, the better the commercial will be remembered. And the stronger the network of associations in the brain. Validators put the experiment to the test with the Hak commercial. After a week and a half of deepfaking, the face of Den Blijker was replaced by the fictional character Hakkan. The results are striking!

Want to know more? Get in touch with Jelmer.