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Lay’s uses AI to create Messi Messages, bringing the soccer superstar to your phone

Now you can get specialized messages from soccer legend Lionel Messi, thanks to a fun Lay’s program.

Messi and Lay’s have partnered for Messi’s Messages.

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Messi and Lay’s have partnered for Messi’s Messages.

Image: Lay’s

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Anyone who has ever dreamed of getting a video message from legendary Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi is in luck. Thanks to Lay’s chips, UEFA Champions League and their tech partner Synthesia, soccer fans can send each other semi-personalized video messages of Messi in 10 different languages. 

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According to Lay’s and Synthesia, Messi Messages uses artificial intelligence to put the fun videos together, allowing you to put your friend’s name and favorite team into the program.

“With our tech partner Synthesia, we’ve created something truly unique and innovative in Messi Messages, enabling fans around the world to surprise and delight friends and family with personalized videos from Leo Messi,” said Luke Purcell, global digital and media lead for UEFA Champions League partnership at PepsiCo.

“We’re excited to bring such a creative and equally relevant platform to fans at this time—allowing them to take part in match-day excitement and enjoy the game together, remotely, at home. Things like personalization and scale are a big focus for PepsiCo, alongside data and data-driven marketing, both are key components to our digital marketing.”

The innovative program is part of a pact between Lay’s and UEFA Champions League, in which Messi plays for FC Barcelona, and uses Messi’s global stardom to help bring some personalized soccer cheer to fans. 

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Messi’s Messages is available in 20 countries and comes in a variety of languages, from Spanish to Russian and English. 

Synthesia works on AI technology and specializes in facial mapping, which came in handy for Messi’s Messages. 

The Synthesia system is able to move Messi’s lips and sync it with a voice over of him saying whatever name and team you typed in. All three components are synced together to create a video making it look like Messi is saying what you typed. 

Lay’s and Synthesia said in a statement that the AI technology powering Messi Messages “has never been put in the hands of a consumer through a branded activation like this before” and that both companies were hoping to use AI to create an innovative web-based experience that built connections between soccer’s biggest star and fans currently stuck at home in most countries. 

Synthesia has uploaded 6,000 names and hundreds of different variations into the system to give users plenty of options for fun things to send along to friends and family. 

“We are super excited to bring the world’s first personalized AI powered video experience to life with one of the greatest football players of all times,” Synthesia CFO and co-founder Steffen Tjerrild said. 

“It is a simple user-experience everyone can engage with, leveraging Synthesia API to create unique video variations in multiple languages. We are thrilled to be partnering with bold brands like Lay’s to create real-time synthetic media and embrace the latest advancements in AI video.”

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